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Constructing global justice: a critique

Author(s): Michael Goodhart

Journal: Ethics & Global Politics
ISSN 1654-4951

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: global justice | constructivism | cosmopolitanism | social liberal theory | ideal theory | Rawls

This essay criticizes a prominent strand of theorizing about global justice, Rawlsian global constructivism. It argues that the constructivist method employed by cosmopolitan and social liberal theorists cannot grapple with the complexities of interdependence, deep pluralism, and socio-cultural diversity that arise in the global context. These flaws impugn the persuasiveness and plausibility of the substantive conclusions reached by Rawlsian global constructivists and highlight serious epistemological problems in their approach. This critique also sheds light on some broader problems with ideal theory in the global context, showing how it leads to distortions in our thinking about justice and again raising doubts about the epistemological and normative conclusions of global constructivist approaches.
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