Rolling Out the Map of Justice

By Jorgen Odalen
April 2008
Uppsala University Press
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789155471033
154 pages, Illustrated, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2"
$52.50 Paper Original

Traditionally, the promotion of socio-economic justice has been seen as an exclusive concern for the state and its citizens. Many contemporary political thinkers criticize this view and argue that the principles of justice which apply within a state also apply to the global level. Further, they often argue that this conclusion is strengthened by the increased level of interconnectedness between people and states created by globalization.

It is said that even if principles of justice are constrained by institutional boundaries, these boundaries no longer coincide with state borders but rather extend transnationally, or even globally. In this thesis it is argued that the impacts on justice inferred from globalization are often seriously overstated. The demand for socio-economic justice is created exclusively by a special relationship between citizens.

This relationship is constituted by a common membership in the kind of coercive institutional structure epitomized by the state. Under current state of affairs, state coercion has no counterpart in the global arena. The conclusion is that concerns of socio-economic justice should be reserved for the domestic arena. Yet, it is also argued that justice is pluralistic and other kinds of concern are applicable on a global scale. Issues of fairness in international trade are discussed as examples of such concerns, and it is concluded that the international trade regime should institutionalize a number of safeguards that reduce the vulnerability of developing states.


Return to Coronet Books main page