This chapter examines global egalitarianism as a free-standing conception of global justice and provides some reasons for rejecting it. It argues that neither equality of resources nor equality of opportunity represents a workable principle of global justice. In neither case can we measure the resources or opportunities available to people in different societies in a way that is neutral as between cultures, and such neutrality seems indispensable in a global principle of justice. The chapter then considers some other reasons for wanting the scale of these inequalities to be reduced — reasons, in other words, that are not directly reasons of justice, even though they may involve seeing inequality, indirectly, as a source of injustice. These are that material inequalities broadly conceived will naturally translate into inequalities of power, which then become a source of ongoing global injustice; that gross inequality between nations makes it difficult if not impossible for those at the bottom end of the inequality to enjoy an adequate measure of self-determination, unless one imagines, counterfactually, that rich nations' interest in self-determination concerns only their own internal affairs, and not what happens in the world outside; and that large inequalities in wealth and power also make it difficult to achieve a so-called ‘fair terms of cooperation’ internationally.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.