Global egalitarianism as a practice-independent ideal
Reglitz, Merten (2011) Global egalitarianism as a practice-independent ideal. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Reglitz_2011.pdf - Submitted Version
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2565504~S1
In this thesis I defend the principle of global egalitarianism. According to this
idea most of the existing detrimental inequalities in this world are morally
objectionable. As detrimental inequalities I understand those that are not to the
benefit of the worst off people and that can be non-wastefully removed.
To begin with, I consider various justifications of the idea that only those
detrimental inequalities that occur within one and the same state are morally
objectionable. I identify Thomas Nagel’s approach as the most promising
defence of this traditional position. However, I also show that Nagel’s argument
does not even justify the elimination of detrimental inequalities (that is to say:
egalitarian duties of justice) within states. A discussion of the concept of
political legitimacy rather shows that egalitarian justice is not a necessary
condition of the justifiability of the exercise of coercive political power.
I, then, consider other, more Rawlsian approaches to the question of
detrimental inequalities. These views appear more plausible than Nagel’s
position and argue that egalitarian duties also arise in certain international
contexts. But also these more global theories of distributive justice suffer from shortcomings. Since they make the application of duties of justice dependent on
the existence of social practices they cannot adequately account for the justified
interests of non-participants that are affected by these practices.
The counter-intuitive implications of practice-dependent theories lead me
to investigate the plausibility of a theory that does not limit justice to existing
practices and that argues for the inherent value of equality. This theory is global
egalitarianism. I defend global egalitarianism by debilitating three objections
that opponents of this idea frequently (but often not clearly) present in the
Finally I also address two particular objections to the idea that global
egalitarian duties are institutionalizable with the help of coercive global
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Equality, World politics, Justice|
|Official Date:||September 2011|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Philosophy|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Williams, Andrew, 1963-|
|Sponsors:||Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain) (AHRC)|
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