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What Does Cosmopolitan Justice Demand of Us?

Gillian Brock


In Cosmopolitan Justice1 Moellendorf carries on the work begun by

theorists such as Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge,2 further developing

a cosmopolitan model of justice. Like Beitz and Pogge, he too

modifies the Rawlsian approach to support a model of global justice

that is more focused on individuals rather than states and proposes

much bolder principles that are to define just interaction at the international

level. Moellendorf also goes further than either of these theorists

has hitherto gone in showing how a cosmopolitan model of

justice could actually be applied to a range of pressing problems of

global justice (including immigration, protectionism, justified intervention,

debt cancellation, and dealing with the costs of global warming)

and this is one of the key strengths of the book. With the

exception of justified intervention, I will not discuss these applications

here, though Moellendorf’s treatments of all these issues contain

insights worthy of more attention. Rather, my focus in this paper will

be on some central theoretical aspects of what cosmopolitan justice

demands of us.

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