Global Justice Unbounded: Social Connection through Mutual Flourishing

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Storfa, Maria

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University of Guelph


This thesis argues that dominant approaches to global justice are limited by underlying social ontologies centred on the bounded, discrete individual as the paradigm for persons, nations, states, and other communities. In Chapter 1, we see this relationship between justice and social ontology play out in the nationalisms of Michael Walzer and David Miller. In Chapter 2, we see it also holds true in characterizing statist approaches to global justice — both in the strong forms postulated by Michael Blake and Thomas Nagel as well as in the moderate internationalist versions of Mathias Risse and Andrea Sangiovanni. Cosmopolitanism, as I show in Chapter 3, is limited in many of the same ways, as our analysis of Charles Beitz, Darrel Moellendorf, and Thomas Pogge demonstrates. As a corrective to these approaches, in Chapter 4 appeals to Iris Marion Young’s social connection model as a general framework to conceive of a relational approach to global justice. Building on Young’s model and work by feminist care theorists — such as Virginia Held, Eva Kittay, Christine Koggel, and Fiona Robinson — Chapter 5 shows how a relational social ontology could enable normative theorists to rethink global justice along relational lines. Drawing on Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach and Axel Honneth’s recognition theory, I show how a relational approach to global justice enables us to orient our policymaking towards mutual human flourishing in ways that mainstream theories of global justice cannot.



Global Justice, Responsibilities of Justice, Social Connection Model, Mutual Flourishing