Explore the ethical issues arising from an unequal world with borders. Information, goods and people are travelling further, faster and in larger quantities than ever before. Are our existing institutions and practices still up to the job? What about our theories of justice?
According to the cosmopolitan, justice applies on a global basis. This is very different to our current world of states with vastly different levels of wealth. Cosmopolitanism implies the need for much more generous actions to help the poorest in the world, which would presumably mean less assistance for the poorer members of wealthy societies.
The course will consider some of the arguments for a cosmopolitan approach, and the attempts of philosophers to justify the state-based status quo. Does nationalism justify partiality within a state? Or perhaps the importance of sharing the state as an institution can justify the partiality without invoking potentially controversial national ties?
In the second half of the course we will move on to consider several international important policy issues such as trade, aid and taxation. Should wealthy states do more to assist the poorest people in the world? We will bring in the views of economists and others to consider the difficult trade-offs between different aims such as helping the poorest in the world, effectiveness and formal sovereignty.
Borders also raise questions of territory, migration, migrant rights, and policies of assimilation or multiculturalism. Some political philosophers have argued that it is unfair or unjustifiable to refuse people entry. We will consider the arguments for border liberalism and for maintaining the status quo.
A final important question is what states owe to migrants once they arrive. Should economic migrants have the same economic rights as citizens? How quickly should they be able to apply for citizenship? Again, economists often take a different view to philosophers on these points and we will consider the arguments.
Taking account of economic theories and factors, this course considers ethical arguments about these crucial and hotly contested issues.