A Liberal Theory of International Justice

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Overview

A Liberal Theory of International Justice advances a novel theory of international justice that combines the orthodox liberal notion that the lives of individuals are what ultimately matter morally with the putatively antiliberal idea of an irreducibly collective right of self-governance. The individual and her rights are placed at center stage insofar as political states are judged legitimate if they adequately protect the human rights of their constituents and respect the rights of all others. Yet, the book argues that legitimate states have a moral right to self-determination and that this right is inherently collective, irreducible to the individual rights of the persons who constitute them. Exploring the implications of these ideas, A Liberal Theory of International Justice addresses issues pertaining to democracy, secession, international criminal law, armed intervention, political assassination, global distributive justice, and immigration. A number of the positions taken in the book run against the grain of current academic opinion: there is no human right to democracy; separatist groups can be morally entitled to secede from legitimate states; the fact that it is a matter of brute luck whether one is born in a wealthy state or a poorer one does not mean that economic inequalities across states must be minimized or even kept within certain limits; most existing states have no right against armed intervention; and it is morally permissible for a legitimate state to exclude all would-be immigrants.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199604500
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/14/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Altman is Professor of Philosophy and Director in the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics at Georgia State University. He is the author of Critical Legal Studies: A Liberal Critique and Arguing About Law: An Introduction to Legal Philosophy, and has published widely on topics in legal and political philosophy. Along with Professor Wellman, he has co-directed two summer seminars for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Christopher Heath Wellman is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and Professorial Fellow at CAPPE, Charles Sturt University. He is the author of A Theory of Secession and Is There a Duty to Obey the Law? (with John Simmons).

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Democracy and Self-Determination
3. Secession
4. International Criminal Law
5. Armed Intervention and Political Assassination
6. International Distributive Justice
7. Immigration
8. Conclusion

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