Deprivation and Institutionally Based Duties to Aid

In Barbara Buckinx, Jonathan Trejo Mathys & Timothy Walligore (eds.), Domination and Global Political Justice. Conceptual, Historical and Institutional Perspectives. pp. 251-290 (2015)
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In order to at least begin addressing the extensive the problem of moral clarity in aiding the deprived to some degree, I first argue that the duty to aid the deprived is not merely a charitable one, dependent on the discretion, or the arbitrary will, of the giver (1). Then, before further analysing the individual duty to aid, I critically examine whether deprivation is better alleviated or remedied through the duties of corrective justice. I argue that the perspective of corrective justice is important, but not sufficient when it comes to dealing with deprivation (2). I then argue that non-domination cannot serve as a first-order principle of justice. It is too minimalistic, since it would not require duties of justice where deprivation exists, but dominating relations and institutions do not. (3). Going back to the individual duty to help, I argue that the duties to aid the needy must be assessed according to the situation at hand (4). In order to avoid meaninglessness and morality’s excessive demands, one should be able to identify the responsible agents by constructing a shared and, in the last resort, institution-based duty to help (5). The institutional approach in this paper argues that we should create and reform institutions in order to realize the pre-existing requirement to alleviate global deprivation. This is a form of “global political justice” that does not start with politics, but ends with global political institutions.

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Stefan Gosepath
Freie Universität Berlin


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