International Justice and the Third World: Studies in the Philosophy of Development

International Justice and the Third World: Studies in the Philosophy of Development

International Justice and the Third World: Studies in the Philosophy of Development

International Justice and the Third World: Studies in the Philosophy of Development

Synopsis

International Justice and the Third Worldvindicates belief in global or universal justice, and explores both liberal and Marxist grounds for such belief. It also investigates the presuppositions of belief in development, and relates it to sustainability, to environmentalism, and to the obligation to cancel Third World debt.

Excerpt

While almost everyone is in favour of development, not many people could readily specify what this commits them to. and while everyone is in favour of justice for themselves, many are puzzled about whether its claims extend to global society, in a world as inequitable as our own. Yet for the poorer countries, predominantly the countries of the 'South', or (to use the now customary expression) the Third World, both development and a more equitable form of international relations are pressing matters; nor are they pressing for the poorer countries alone.

Yet till recently there has existed comparatively little philosophical discussion of the concept and the implications of development; indeed, one of the aims of this book is partially to make good this deficiency. Since the very concept of development is a site of struggle, a definition cannot yet be offered; at this stage it may suffice to point out that underdevelopment is present in a society in which a number of mutually reinforcing evils are present, such as high rates of infant mortality and morbidity, low rates of productivity, poor provision of health care and of educational opportunities, illiteracy, and (centrally) poverty. Thus whatever else development involves, it consists, minimally, in moves away from this cycle of evils. and this is already enough to show that, for hundreds of millions of people alive today, development is a requirement of the satisfaction of basic needs, and thus, we maintain, of international or global justice.

Another aim of this book is to clarify and defend the notion of global justice, and to apply it to issues of development, not least with regard to the Third World. Here the issue is not so much the concept of justice (which is at least as widely acknowledged in theory as it is disregarded in practice), controversial as

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