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Grounds of Global Justice

107 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2008  

T. M. Lechterman

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 13, 2008


This senior honors thesis, submitted to the Department of Government at Harvard University on March 13, explores the conditions that dictate when distributive justice might apply. In the first chapter, the author challenges so-called "relational" approaches to global justice, represented by Michael Blake, Thomas Nagel, and Andrea Sangiovanni, who each argue that justice can only apply when individuals share an institutionally-mediated relationship. The second chapter explores the possibility of a "non-relational" approach. This particular approach seeks to find a political basis for justice that is nevertheless not institutionalized. Physical interdependence among individual persons, the author argues, is sufficient to ground concern for global justice. The third chapter weighs in on the agents of justice, emphasizing the role of the basic global structure in parsing out associative and general duties.

Keywords: global justice, distributive justice, ethics, political theory, political philosophy, Rawls, Nagel, cosmopolitanism, Kant, associative duties, relational, non-relational, Singer

Suggested Citation

Lechterman, T. M., Grounds of Global Justice (March 13, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Theodore Lechterman (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States

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