Global Justice: Radical Perspectives
Special Issue of Global Justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric
Edited by Maeve McKeown (Frankfurt) and Alasia Nuti (Cambridge)
The Global Justice debate is, for the most part, a liberal debate. For four decades, theorists have pondered over the exact scope of liberal distributive justice and the precise content of our duties. This special issue aims to take a step back and ask whether the liberal framework is the best one to address the question of injustice at the global level to begin with. In particular, it aims to analyse whether the liberal paradigm lacks the conceptual tools fully to understand, critique and remedy global injustices.
Consider the global distribution of wealth. According to the most recent OXFAM report, 1% of the world’s population control half of global wealth, and by 2016, they are predicted to hold more wealth than the 99%. This is not simply a question of unequal distributions across individuals, but also one of class. Liberal theory seeks to redress this state of affairs through global redistribution. But is it enough to call for redistribution of wealth and resources, or must we interrogate the underlying power relations first? What are the preconditions for redistribution? Are capitalist economic relations that create and sustain this system sufficiently exposed or critiqued? Can global justice be achieved without challenging them first?
Alternatively, consider how the “global elite” and the “global poor” are largely constituted by members of already advantaged and disadvantaged groups. For instance, the UNDP suggests that women own 1% of global wealth. Extreme poverty mainly exists in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia, i.e. people of colour, and former colonized peoples, are more likely to suffer from it. People with disabilities are also more likely to live in poverty. Gender, race, ability and sexuality also affect distributions amongst the world’s poorest countries, and amongst those experiencing poverty in OECD countries. Moreover, does status inequality matter because it affects distributions of resources or because it is a form of global injustice in and of itself?
This special issue asks whether the liberal framework, which arguably has not sufficiently and/or systematically addressed structural issues of class, power and recognition, actually lacks the conceptual resources to do so. It aims to understand whether more radical approaches can help us to cast light on what global injustice actually is and what we should do about it. What can feminist, post-colonial, Marxist, queer theory, disability studies, critical race theory, recognition theory, radical democratic and post-development approaches tell us about global justice, if anything? Do identity, history, gender, race and power matter to global justice? Can we incorporate these critical perspectives into the existing debates? Or must we reconfigure what constitutes global justice or injustice if we are to make sense of the real-world inequities that motivate critical theorists and social movements?
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
- What is global (in)justice?
- Liberalism vs. radical approaches to global justice theory
- Specific global justice issues or approaches related to feminism, post-colonialism, queer theory, disability theory, critical race theory, recognition theory, and radical democratic and post-development approaches.
Deadline for submission: August 31 2015
Papers should be submitted through the journal’s electronic submission system.