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Reconciling Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism in Global Justice.
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In exploring how to decisively address global poverty the question of what should be the content of nations’ global justice duties has been debatable. Nationalism has usually been regarded as incompatible with cosmopolitanism. It is against extending principles of social justice to the entire globe as cosmopolitanism demands on the grounds that the global context lacks the special attachments that generate national solidarity which is regarded as what ensures distributive justice realizable. For nationalism there cannot be motivation for global distributive justice since this solidarity is only national. As such the nationalist perspective holds that only humanitarian obligations constitute global justice duties. Nationalists also restrict global justice duties to humanitarian assistance due to the fact that nations have a moral obligation to respect another nation’s political culture’s values manifested in the type of national policies they pursue. For nationalists fulfilling the moral requirement of mutual respect of nations’ political cultures would entail letting nations face the consequences of their preferred choices which in some cases lead to poverty. Only when a humanitarian crisis looms do other nations have moral obligations of helping out. Cosmopolitanism agrees with the idea of respecting nations’ right to self-determination and letting nations face consequences of their choices. However it demands the precondition that the background context in which the self-determination is exercised should be just and fair. This demands that before nations respect poor nations’ political cultures the global cooperation which interferes with the exercise of self-determination should be rid of its interference tendencies that negatively restrict nations’ choices. It further demands that nations’ political cultures that are harmful to individuals by subjecting them to poverty ought to be reformed. What cosmopolitanism demands is that there should be a new understanding of nationalism with respect to the individual as the ultimate unit of moral concern. It also regards the lack of solidarity on the globe context as a resolvable challenge that would be faced in the implementation of global justice in the non-ideal real life. It does not in any way invalidate the moral worth of cosmopolitan principles of justice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 65 p.
Keyword [en]
Cosmopolitanism, nationalism, global justice, national responsibility
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19524ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--09/04--SEOAI: diva2:225318
Subject / course
Master in Applied Ethics
2009-06-04, KVA conference room, 00:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2009-06-26 Created: 2009-06-25 Last updated: 2011-07-08Bibliographically approved

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