National responsibility, global justice and transnational power

Owen, David (2011) National responsibility, global justice and transnational power. Review of International Studies, 36, (S1), 97-112. (doi:10.1017/S0260210511000118).


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This article focuses on David Miller's recent and influential study National Responsibility and Global Justice (2007). After outlining Miller's methodological commitments in the book, the article offers an interpretation of the major aspects of Miller's case against ‘Cosmopolitan egalitarianism’ before focusing especially on the issue of migration and refugees. Here the article argues that while membership of a nation is (under certain conditions) of intrinsic value, it is not the only thing that is of intrinsic value – friendship, family and other practices can also be sources of intrinsic value – nor is it necessarily the most important. It is therefore not clear, the article argues, why an account of global justice that seeks to take seriously the existence of national communities on the grounds of their intrinsic value, should propose rules of justice concerning freedom of movement that entail the de jure privileging of the value of national community over other sources of intrinsic value. The article concludes by assessing how Miller's arguments can support the movement from mere ‘distributivism’ towards political justice, towards an account that more adequately integrates agency, responsibility and power into our account of global justice.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1017/S0260210511000118
ISSNs: 0260-2105 (print)
1469-9044 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 186555
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
2011In press
Date Deposited: 13 May 2011 13:22
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:38

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