Between Cosmopolis and Community: Globalization and the Emerging Basis for Global Justice

49 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013 Last revised: 19 Nov 2013

Date Written: May 15, 2013


Globalization is fundamentally transforming economic and social relations but its impact has yet to be fully realized in jurisprudence and political theory. In this article I argue that globalization is creating new normative possibilities by developing the social basis for a truly “global” justice, thereby transcending the objections most commonly raised by contractarian and communitarian critics. As globalization reduces or eliminates the role of time and space in many kinds of interactions, we see emerging a new global community, consisting of shared understandings, practices, and traditions capable of supporting obligations of justice at a global level. Members of this global web of relationships are increasingly aware of each other’s needs and circumstances, increasingly capable of effectively addressing these needs, and increasingly contributing to these circumstances in the first place. They find themselves involved in the same global market society, and together they look to the same organizations, especially those at the meta-state level, to provide regulatory approaches to problems of global social policy. I argue that these developments are constituting community with respect to different issues, institutions and sets of social relations within the global social space. Among other implications, this allows for a “global basic package” or “global minimum ethics” approach to global justice, consisting of a basic bundle of political, social, and economic rights safeguarded through global law and delivered in a partnership between global and national institutions. I conclude by arguing that globalization is changing not only the content of our substantive norms but also the pace at which communal bonds emerge, allowing us to begin envisioning a “post-global” future.

Suggested Citation

Garcia, Frank Joseph, Between Cosmopolis and Community: Globalization and the Emerging Basis for Global Justice (May 15, 2013). New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Forthcoming; Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 298. Available at SSRN:

Frank Joseph Garcia (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States

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