In This Review

Global Justice
Global Justice
Edited by Ian Shapiro and Lea Brilmayer
New York University Press, 1999, 224 pp

Economic globalization has ignited debates over global justice as rising inequality challenges moral philosophers to expand their scope beyond domestic affairs. In this volume, scholars explore the possible terms of "cosmopolitan justice." Columbia's Brian Barry addresses an underlying question: If justice demands the well-being of individuals, why should income redistribution (e.g., through government or social obligations) confine itself to a country's borders? The essays provide a lively exchange about when norms of justice should apply only to family, community, and nation, and when they should extend to the entire international system. But there is little consensus among the authors -- except the common notion that local or national commitments need not undermine claims of global justice. Alas, the authors fail to discuss what competing moral claims mean in practical terms, or how to reconcile the claims of justice with the realities of an anarchic world order.