This article is about global justice and discussing the theory of Charles Beitz and John Rawls. Global justice is a matter of the world in which many people are extremely poor, while others are extremely rich. Many live under tyrannical regimes. Many are vulnerable to violence, disease, and starvation. Many die prematurely. Global justice is just about the issue of partiality. A lot of people think that duties for the family members, friends and compatriots are more important than to strangers and foreigners.
But they do not have right to support such partiality. Theory of global justice says that we are the citizens of the world and we should do as well as we can, without preference for any one human being over another. There are a lot of conflicts between more and less local institutions: tribes against states, villages against cities, local communities against empires, nation-states against the UN.
However in the First World War the state system has been transformed by globalization and by the creation of supranational political and economic institutions such as the League of Nations, the UN, and the World Bank. 1 Global justice became a chief issue in political philosophy since 1970s. Scope of justice, justice in the allocation of wealth and other goods, and the institutions responsible for justice are central problem of global justice.
Culture, race, gender, religion, nationality or any other distinguishing features which are apply all human being are the scope of the justice. 18% of humanity means 1. 1 billion People live below the World Bank’s 2$ per day poverty line. Means distribution of wealth is not similar for everyone. Which institutions – states, communes, and federal entities, global financial institutions like the World Bank, international NGOs, multinational corporations, international courts, and a world state – would best achieve the ideal of global justice?
1. Thomas Nagel, ‘The Problem of Global Justice’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 33(2005): 113-47 ? Rawls & the state-centric approach- Justice became a chief issue in political philosophy and ethics with the publication of Rawls? s work “A Theory of Justice” in 1971. Rawls framed “the distributive justice”. We can not discuss on the distributive justice without a basic understanding of Rawls theory. This theory provided the framework for contemporary theorists on these issues.
Rawls argues in “A Theory of Justice” that the problem of distributive justice is a issue of identifying principles to govern certain institutions. He argues, further, that there are special features of the domestic political community without which the problem of distributive justice does not occur. According to Rawls the most important of these features is called ‘the basic structure’. ‘The basic structure’ is the set of social and political institutions.
These social and political institutions govern our lives in common, and decide the distribution of benefits and burdens generated by our social cooperation. Rawls says that the basic structure is a constitutive element of the problem of distributive justice and there is nothing equal to the domestic basic structure in the international area, the problem simply cannot arise there. This view has been challenged on a number of different levels.
Some refuse outright the view that principles of justice ought to regulate institutions, rather than individual choices and conduct. Rawls’s framing of the problem is correct according to some other authors. 2 According to them principles of justice ought to be used to estimate the basic structure but they also says that he is wrong to think that the relevant institutions exist only in domestic societies.
Still others discard the very notion that we can have special or particular ties and obligations to a subset of the human community. 2. Diogenes Laertius, ‘Life of Diogenes’ in The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers trans. C. D. Yonge ? The concept of distributive justice- Distributive justice refers to a particular type or concept of justice. Different domains of human affairs are governed by different concepts of justice.
Retributive and corrective justices are most familiar among these. A standard for judging is provided by the Principles of retributive justice whether certain harms (punishments) are appropriately awarded to particular persons – typically, alleged criminal, wrongdoers. Evaluation of the appropriateness of compensation to the victims of wrongdoing for the losses they have suffered is done with the help of corrective justice principles.
But here we are mainly interested in principles of distributive justice. It is principle which provides standards for evaluating the distribution of limited resources to a particular group of persons. Therefore each of these different concepts of justice (retributive, corrective and distributive) provides an approach to think about a problem and a means by which to evaluate a distribution of benefits and burdens of one or another kind to a defined class of recipients.
Distributive justice is one such notion, concerned not with punishment or reparations, but instead the distribution of scarce resources to persons with competing interests. 3 Scarcity and disagreement are the two conditions which are responsible for raising the principle of distribution (how the resources ought to be distributed) to. Rawls and his challengers would agree on these points. But their views diverge sharply once we get beyond this point. Each has a different view for allocating the benefits and burdens produced by a group.
Each proposes an individual way of understanding what is required by distributive justice. 3. Peter Singer ‘Famine, Affluence, and Morality’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 1(1972): 229-243 Theory of justice of each is constructed around a set of constraints or prerequisites. Constraints or prerequisites conditions under which the theory is meant to apply. Problem of distributive justice does not arise without the condition of scarcity and disagreement. These are necessary but not sufficient conditions for the application of a particular theory of justice.
Different theories of justice are not applicable to all instances in which scarcity and disagreement attain. . ? Rawls and the role of institutions- Rawls’s theory of justice is concerned with a special case of the problem of justice. The problem of justice as it arises in a modern democratic management is solved by Rawls’s theory of justice. Rawls is concerned with justice as a product or function of the basic institutional structure (“basic structure”) of a democratic society.
The basic structure of society is the framework within which goods are distributed and benefits and burdens (broadly construed) are allocated. It includes a society’s principle, social, political and economic institutions, governed by a single constitution and taken as one scheme “the political constitution with an independent judiciary, the legally recognized forms of property, and the structures of the economy, as well as the family in some form and the way these institutions assign basic rights and duties.
Men’s rights and duties are defined by these institutions define. These institutions determine the distribution of advantages from social cooperation. Political liberties (the right to vote and to hold public office), freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of thought, freedom of the person, and the right to hold personal property are the some rights among them. 4
This framework is one of the conditions that describe the problem of justice for Rawls. It is only within such a scheme of social cooperation that claims of distributive justice arise. Rawls’s theory of justice is not directed to the nature and scope of the duties we owe to one another simply in virtue of our nature as human beings, nor is his theory addressed to what we owe one another as a matter of concern for one another’s wellbeing.
The problem of distributive justice for Rawls is an issue of identifying principles to govern institutions, rather than individual persons’ choices and behavior, and his theory of justice describes a set of principles that the basic institutions of a liberal democratic society must realize, to be just.