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Justice and assistance: three approaches and a fourthone

Valentini, Laura (2009) Justice and assistance: three approaches and a fourthone. CSSJ Working Papers Series (SJ009). Centre for the Study of Social Justice, Oxford, UK.

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Although no one denies that there is a duty to address the special needs of the least developed countries, the normative grounds of this duty are subject to on-going debate. While cosmopolitans argue that we should tackle global poverty as part of a broader quest for global justice, social liberals believe that our duties to less fortunate nations are (almost) exclusively a matter of humanitarian assistance. Although much of the debate on global justice turns on the distinction between justice and assistance, surprisingly, neither cosmopolitans nor social liberals offer a systematic account of it. Intuitively, justice is weightier than assistance, but why and to what extent this is the case is something both advocates and critics of global justice fail to explain. In order to fill this gap in the literature, in this paper I consider three accounts of the distinction between justice and assistance: what I call the ‘Agentbased View’, the ‘Recipient-based View’, and the ‘Mixed View’. I show that these views implicitly underpin some of the most prominent liberal outlooks on international morality, and argue that they all prove unsatisfactory. I conclude the paper by offering a fourth alternative, ‘the Revised Agent-based View’ which, I claim, successfully overcomes the difficulties affecting its rivals.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 15:12
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:51

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