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Fair trade: global problems and individual responsibilities

Goff, Sarah C. ORCID: 0000-0002-9116-5956 (2016) Fair trade: global problems and individual responsibilities. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. pp. 1-23. ISSN 1369-8230

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13698230.2016.1252993


The topic of global trade has become central to debates on global justice and on duties to the global poor, two important concerns of contemporary political theory. However, the leading approaches fail to directly address the participants in trade and provide them with normative guidance for making choices in non-ideal circumstances. This paper contributes an account of individuals’ responsibilities for global problems in general, an account of individuals’ responsibilities as market actors, and an explanation of how these responsibilities coexist. The argument is developed through an extended case study of a consumer’s choice between conventional and fair trade coffee. My argument is that the coffee consumer’s choice requires consideration of two distinct responsibilities. First, she has responsibilities to help meet foreigners’ claims for assistance. Second, she has moral responsibilities to ensure that trades, such as between herself and a coffee farmer, are fair rather than exploitative.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author © CC-BY-NC-ND
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 16:27
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 04:27

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