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Re-Visions: International Distributive Justice, Reciprocity, and the European Union

The Role of Facts

In response to economic, social, and political pressures originating from both within and outside their borders, European states have progressively re-negotiated the terms in which they exercise legal and political authority over their territories. As a result of this process, the exercise of authority is now carried out increasingly at trans-, inter-, and supra-national levels. This poses a fundamental question for political thought. Do the new circumstances in which states operate require a reassessment of our understanding of distributive justice? In this series of talks, Andrea Sangiovanni will argue for three interconnected claims. First, that facts about political and social institutions should affect not only the implementation of principles of justice but also, and more controversially, their content, scope, and grounds. Second, that equality as a demand of justice only applies among citizens and residents of a state. This is not because citizens and residents share a collective identity, or because they are subject to the same coercive power, but because they share in the mutual provision of the collective goods necessary for a flourishing life. Equality is therefore best understood as a demand of reciprocity. Third, this reciprocity-based conception of distributive justice can be extended to the inter-, trans-, and supra-national level. Despite the fact that equality is a demand of justice only among citizens and residents of a state, this does not imply that we have no obligations of distributive justice beyond the state. It only implies that these will be different in both form and content from those we have at the domestic level. The third claim is developed in the institutional context of the European Union.


Dr Andrea Sangiovanni | talks | www


Date and Time:

21 October 2008 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Room G108, 20 Kingsway, LSE
20 Kingsway, LSE

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Organised by:

Forum for European Philosophy, LSE
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Available from:

Additional Information:

This event is free and open to all, without registration

It will take place in Room G108, 20 Kingsway, LSE

For further information on the Forum for European Philosophy, visit our website ar www.philosophy-forum.org

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