Armstrong's Resource-Egalitarianism Theory and Attachment




The paper analyses the interrelationship between Armstrong’s egalitarian theory and his treatment of the ‘attachment theory’ of resources, which is the dominant rival theory of resources that his theory is pitched against. On Armstrong’s theory, egalitarianism operates as a default position, from which special claims would need to be justified, but he also claims to be able to incorporate 'attachment' into his theory. The general question explored in the paper is the extent to which ‘attachment’ claims can be ‘married’ to an egalitarian theory. The more specific argument is that a properly constrained attachment theory is more plausible than Armstrong’s egalitarian theory. It also criticizes attachment and improvement accounts as justifying permanent sovereignty over resources. The paper argues that neither of those arguments aim to justify the international doctrine of permanent sovereignty.

Author Biography

Margaret Moore, Queen’s University, Ontario

Margaret Moore is Professor of Political Theory at Queen's University, Canada. She is the author of *Foundations of Liberalism* (Oxford, 1993), *Ethics of Nationalism* (Oxford, 2001) and *A Political theory of Territory* (Oxford, 2015). She has many articles and book chapters, most recently on territory and resources, including in Political Theory (2012) and Journal of Political Philosophy (2019).


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