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Critical notice of Aaron James, Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy

  • Mathias Risse (a1) and Gabriel Wollner (a2)

Abstract

Nobody has offered such a comprehensive philosophical approach to trade. Nonetheless, James's approach does not succeed. First, we explore James's constructivist method, which does less work than he suggests. The second topic is James's take on the different ‘grounds’ of justice. We explore the shortcomings of approaches that focus exclusively on trade. Our third topic is why James thinks trade is such a ground. The fourth topic is how James argues for his proposed ‘structural equity.’ This proposal remains under-argued. Our fifth topic is to explore why structural equity would generate several specific principles. Finally, we discuss James's notion of autarky. Autarky sets the benchmark for James's ideas about how to divide gains of trade. We doubt that it can do so.

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*Corresponding author. Email: mathias_risse@harvard.edu

References

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Beitz, Charles. 1999. Political Theory and International Relations. Revised edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Bernstein, William. 2008. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. New York: Atlantic Monthly.
Caney, Simon. 2002. “Cosmopolitanism and the Law of Peoples.” Journal of Political Philosophy 10: 95123.
Findley, Ronald, and O'Rourke, Kevin. 2007. Power and Plenty. Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Freeman, Samuel. 2007. Justice and the Social Contract: Essays on Rawlsian Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gauthier, David. 1986. Morals By Agreement. Oxford: Clarendon.
James, Aaron. 2012. Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pogge, Thomas. 1989. Realizing Rawls. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Pomeranz, Kenneth, and Topik, Steven. 2006. The World that Trade Created. Society, Culture, and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present. London: Sharpe.
Rawls, John. 2001. Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, edited by Kelly, Erin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Risse, Mathias. 2012. On Global Justice. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Sangiovanni, Andrea. Forthcoming. Domains of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wenar, Leif. 2006. “Why Rawls Is Not a Cosmopolitan Egalitarian.” In Rawls' Law of Peoples: A Realistic Utopia? Edited by Martin, R. and Reidy, D.. Oxford: Blackwell.
Wollner, Gabriel. 2012. “Review of A. James Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy Notre Dame Philosophical Review”, 2012.10.10, ndpr.nd.edu, http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/34176-fairness-in-practice-a-social-contract-for-a-global-economy/.

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Critical notice of Aaron James, Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy

  • Mathias Risse (a1) and Gabriel Wollner (a2)

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