The Ethics of Global
Society – Environment
Protection, Justice and
Development

          Session July 10, 2006
Examining Structures of Global
Society – Some Ethical Questions
(I)
 „We should not view national boundaries as having fun...
Examining Structures of Global
Society – Some Ethical Questions
(II)
 Questions: 1) How should the world system be
 concei...
The Ethics of Global
Environmental Protection (I)
 Dilemma of protecting resources owned or used in common
 („tragedy of t...
The Ethics of Global
Environmental Protection (II)
 Global environmental protection presents political, technological
 and...
Reasons for the Elusive Nature
of International Justice
 No authoritative framework for determining justice: different
 di...
Liberal Internationalism and
Two Meta-ethical Perspectives
                                    Cosmopolitanism focuses
 Th...
International Justice versus
Cosmopolitan Justice
 For the communitarian,             Cosmopolitanism is
 states are prima...
Morality, Justice and Foreign
Aid
       Do rich societies have a moral obligation to provide
       economic assistance t...
Development Ethics
 Development ethics = ethical reflection on the ends and means
 of global development.
 Six primary val...
References
 Martha Nussbaum, Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality,
 Species Membership (Harvard University Press ...
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Ethics Global Society Distributive Justice

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Ethics Global Society Distributive Justice

  1. 1. The Ethics of Global Society – Environment Protection, Justice and Development Session July 10, 2006
  2. 2. Examining Structures of Global Society – Some Ethical Questions (I) „We should not view national boundaries as having fundamental moral significance. Since boundaries are not coextensive with the scope of social cooperation, they do not mark the limits of social obligation.“ (Charles R. Beitz) The existing neo-Westphalian order permits war (the arm race), tolerates egregious international economic inequalities, neglects human rights and abuses the global environment. → the contemporary system is seriously flawed and morally unjust. Challenges to the int. system: 1) Third World leaders in the 1970s and 1980s advocated a transformation of the global economic system = the New Int. Economic Order (NIEO); 2) Environmentalists in the 1980s began calling attention to the decay of the „global commons“. 3) Failure to protect human rights = Since the end of the Cold War, 25 million refugees and other displaced persons.
  3. 3. Examining Structures of Global Society – Some Ethical Questions (II) Questions: 1) How should the world system be conceived – as a single community or as a group of national societies? 2) Are the structures, rules, and procedures of global society fundamentally just? 3) Does the moral legitimacy of states depend on their willingness and ability to protect human rights? 4) Who is responsible for protecting the global commons, that is, atmosphere, oceans, and land shared by all member states of global society?
  4. 4. The Ethics of Global Environmental Protection (I) Dilemma of protecting resources owned or used in common („tragedy of the commons“ metaphor by William Foster) = the danger of parocial, short-term practices: Villages raise livestock on private land and on a common pasture. Whereas each farmer carefully regulates grazing on private land, communal land is used freely by all community participants. Result: the pasture on private plots is well- maintained, whereas the village green suffers from overgrazing. Challenge for states: how to manage the earth‘s bountiful resources (the soil, atmosphere and water) by wisely protecting global commons and devising rules and strategies that foster „sustainable“ economic development = growth that is environmentally safe and capable of being maintained indefinitely? Ways and initiatives: 1) Protections of states‘ own territories from transboundary pollution through regional treaties/conventions (the 1958 Convention on Fishing and Conservation of Living Resources of the High Sea); 2) the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro = international collective action on the earth‘s resources, biodiversity and environment (the Climate Treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol / the Biodiversity Treaty).
  5. 5. The Ethics of Global Environmental Protection (II) Global environmental protection presents political, technological and moral challenges. Political challenge = requirement of mature collective will: Because protecting species, reducing pollution, and conserving resources involves long-term, elusive payoffs, the implementation of transnational strategies is difficult. ↔ economic dvp must be sustainable. Sustainable dvp requires the dvp of new technologies that reduce pollution, conserve energy and foster the dvp of alternative energy sources. A moral approach to economic dvp and the environment will require an impartial long-term assessment of the effects of current actions. Moral challenge: Justice in terms of the substantive distribution of benefits and the fairness of the procedural rules ↔ Who can define the use of global resources? And How? ↔ the difficulty to find consensus regarding the idea of „international justice“.
  6. 6. Reasons for the Elusive Nature of International Justice No authoritative framework for determining justice: different dimensions and perspectives/theories about the nature of political justice. Some theories emphasize the rights and obligations of individuals in developing a just pol. society, whereas others emphasize the character and responsibilities of government and other public institutions. Moral pluralism of global society (a cacophony of standards): There‘s no comparable legal pol. institutions in int. community in comparison with coherent and authoritative decision-making structures in domestic societies. The quest for international justice might involve conflict with other normative goals. The notion of pol. justice can be interpreted in two different ways: 1) procedural justice = the impartial and nondiscriminatory application of rules and procedures = justice is realized not by pursuing by particular ends, but by ensuring the fairness of the system ( the US judicial system); 2) substantive/distributive justice = justice is that which promotes good/right ends.
  7. 7. Liberal Internationalism and Two Meta-ethical Perspectives Cosmopolitanism focuses The application of liberalism in global society ↔ liberal on the pursuit of just pol. internationalism that relations within all relevant emphasizes the peacefulness of communities/actors. democratic regimes / harmony The moral legitimacy of of interests among different states is conditional on peoples and the universality of their protection of human human rights. rights. Communitarianism accepts the community of nation-states Whereas communitarianism as normative ↔ the state serves accepts the legitimacy of the as the primary pol. agency for existing int. order, the ensuring human rights. cosmopolitan approach Central concern of denies/challenge the moral communitarian perspective = significance of the existing to define the obligations that neo-Westphalian order. foster and maintain a just order among states.
  8. 8. International Justice versus Cosmopolitan Justice For the communitarian, Cosmopolitanism is states are primary actors concerned mainly with the well- and thus presumptively being of persons. legitimate and entitled to States have a moral sovereignty, that is, political obligation to defend basic independence and self-rule. rights; In case of gross human Communitarianism is mainly rights violations, foreign concerned with the promotion intervention is not only of just peace among states, permissible, but also morally global pol. ethics is approached obligatory. as a quest for international A trade-off between justice involving equity and sovereignty and human peace among member states. rights, between autonomy and human suffering, either a communitarian or a cosmopolitan perspective.
  9. 9. Morality, Justice and Foreign Aid Do rich societies have a moral obligation to provide economic assistance to poor countries? An ethical approach to foreign economic assistance = aid as morally obligatory based on either claims of justice or claims of humanity. Justice imposes two types of int. obligations: corrective claims ( reparation for past wrongs) and distributive claims ( social and economic goods within a community should be distributed equitably). Another major ethical basis is the moral claims of humanity. Human beings = moral agents, they are entitled to universal protection regardless of proximity, ethnicity, nationality or civilization. Foreign aid can be morally justified through claims of charity, justice and humanity.
  10. 10. Development Ethics Development ethics = ethical reflection on the ends and means of global development. Six primary values in economic development: 1) only if it enhances human well-being; 2) if it is equitable; 3) if it engages people in free and democratic participation; 4) if it is environmentally sustainable; 5) if it supports cultural flourishing; 6) and if it promotes the effective enjoyment of human rights. Different approaches: 1) focus on universal problems that have unique manifestations within development, such as gender inequity; 2) focus on potential solutions, by exploring the proper role and meaning of ‘empowerment’, ‘participation’, ‘agency’, and ‘deliberative democracy. 3) interrogation of the local/global nexus by examining the demands of global justice regarding poverty, health, and education, or by exploring changes of political structures and priorities needed in order to reduce the ‘substantial unfreedoms’.
  11. 11. References Martha Nussbaum, Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (Harvard University Press 2005); The Cosmopolitan Tradition (Yale University Press); Democracy in the Balance: Violence, Hope, and India's Future (Harvard University Press). Thomas Pogge, Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor? (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2006); Real World Justice, edited with Andreas Follesdal (Berlin: Springer 2005); Global Institutions and Responsibilities: Achieving Global Justice, edited with Christian Barry (Oxford: Blackwell 2005). World Poverty and Human Rights (Polity Press 2002), Global Justice (edited, Blackwell 2001).

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