This paper criticizes the claim that fair trade entails a commitment to an ideal of formal equality according to which all members of the trade regime are to receive and offer equal, or uniform, treatment. The first section elaborates upon the idea of formal equality and its rationales, identifies several positive arguments for departing from formal equality, and responds to a number of objections to "special and differential treatment" for poor countries. Next, in section II, the paper considers in more detail one specific element of formal equality in the trade regime, namely, the principle of reciprocity. Three distinct reciprocity principles are identified, none of which, it is argued, should be regarded as a requirement of fairness. Section III considers a more recent interpretation of formal equality which requires trading countries to "harmonize" domestic laws and policies. It is argued that harmonization is not required by fairness.
According to an argument commonly made by politicians, selling weapons to oppressive and aggressive regimes can sometimes be permissible because the sale renders the victims of these regimes no worse off than they would have been had the sale not been made. We can refer to this argument as the inconsequence argument. My primary aim in this article is to identify one reason why the inconsequence argument will often not succeed in vindicating arms sales to oppressive and aggressive regimes. The inconsequence argument will often not succeed because arms sales to oppressive and aggressive regimes often do make the victims of these regimes worse off than they would have been had the sales not gone ahead. The victims of these regimes are often made worse off in virtue of the fact that arms sales can generate expressed harms, which, unlike some of the material harms often engendered by such sales, are additive (rather than substitutive) in character. As I shall explain, expressed harms are similar to, but also significantly different from, expressive harms. The differences are important because they allow us to construct a reply that can answer the inconsequence argument on its own (consequentialist) terms. Marshall Cohen once remarked that 'the history of international conduct is to an alarming degree the history of unconscionable insolence, greed, and brutality'. 1 One practice in which such insolence, greed, and brutality manifests is the international arms trade. Many states, and private firms within their jurisdiction, regularly supply weapons to vicious regimes that brutally oppress their people and wage unjust wars against their neighbours. They often do this for nakedly self-interested reasons and with apparently minimal regard for the innocent individuals whose lives are blighted in the process. Sometimes, however, the politicians who licence these sales attempt to defend their acts by appealing to moral considerations. According to one commonly made argument, which is the subject of this article, selling weapons to oppressive and aggressive regimes can sometimes be permissible because the sale renders the victims of these regimes no worse off than they would have been had the sale not been made. We can refer to this argument, which I shall describe in greater detail in the next two sections, as the inconsequence argument. The inconsequence argument might be challenged in various ways. My primary aim in this article is to identify one particular reason why the argument will often not succeed in vindicating arms sales to oppressive and aggressive regimes. The argument will often not succeed because arms sales to oppressive and aggressive regimes often do make the victims of these regimes worse off than they would have been had the sales not gone ahead. The victims of these regimes might sometimes be made worse off for
In recent years, much public attention has been devoted to the existence of pay discrepancies between men and women at the upper end of the income scale. For example, there has been considerable discussion of the ‘Hollywood gender pay gap’. We can refer to such discrepancies as cases of millionaire inequality. These cases generate conflicting intuitions. On the one hand, the unequal remuneration involved looks like a troubling case of gender injustice. On the other, it’s natural to feel uneasy when confronted with the suggestion that multi-millionaires are somehow being paid inadequately. In this paper, we consider two arguments for rectifying millionaire inequality, clarifying their appeal but also identifying the obstacles that each will have to surmount in order to succeed.
If, not unreasonably, we were to follow Albert Camus in assessing the relative urgency of philosophical questions by reference to the actions that they entail, it is likely that those surrounding the international arms trade would rank highly. "I have never seen anyone die for the ontological argument", Camus observed, dismissing its significance (Camus, 2000 , p. 11). But countless people have died as a result of states approving or promoting the sale of weapons abroad. It is somewhat surprising, then, that the women and men whose job it is to think carefully about ethical issues have largely bypassed the subject. Political philosophers have devoted varying degrees of attention to related and adjacent
This article begins by distinguishing between two approaches to egalitarian trade justice – the explicative approach and the applicative approach – and notes that the former has been used to defend conclusions that are less strongly egalitarian than those defended by advocates of the latter. The article then engages with the primary explicative account of trade egalitarianism – that offered by Aaron James – and argues that its egalitarian conclusions are unduly minimalistic. The aim of the article is not to criticize the explicative approach, but rather to show that the arguments and commitments of its best-known defender – James – either fail to rule out, or in fact positively support, more robustly egalitarian conclusions.
Throughout the Yemeni Civil War, western states have supplied weapons used in the indiscriminate bombing campaign conducted by the Saudis. In defence of their actions, British politicians have argued that they are exchanging weapons for influence, and using the influence obtained to encourage compliance with humanitarian law. An additional premise in the argument is that Britain is using its influence more benignly than alternative suppliers would use theirs if Britain were not on the scene. The idea is that Britain is substituting itself for other, less scrupulous, interveners. I argue that, regardless of whether British substitution intervention could be justified in this way…, it is not in fact justified, because Britain has not plausibly used its influence to secure an amount of good sufficient to offset the various harms that its actions have created (or to discharge the expanded duties of rescue that greater influence entails). In addition, the article identifies the various forms that substitution intervention can take, and shows how the concept reveals hitherto neglected reasons to both support and oppose intervention in foreign conflicts.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2023 scite Inc. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers