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International Justice and the Third World: Studies in the Philosophy of Development / Attfield, Robin; Wilkins, Barry
Routledge, 3 September 1992.
224 p.
Paperback ISBN 9780415069250

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This book makes good the lack of philosophical literature about global justice and about the conceptual and ethical issues surrounding the area of development. It contests the views that there is no such thing as justice between societies of unequal power, and there is no obligation to assist poor people in distant countries. It is affirmed that a notion of global justice is both necessary and possible and the book responds to theories which deny the existence of obligations to satisfy human needs. It is argued that these obligations are, in fact, based on social relations. Liberalist and Marxist approaches to universal responsibilities are outlined and their ability to manage global issues of equity weighed. As millions of women remain oppressed in the Third World, it is stressed that any theory must respond to their system of exploitation. However, the very underpinnings of all such philosophical development theories are questioned in a chapter which explores the presuppositions of models of development.
International Justice and the Third World therefore relates Third World development to sustainability, to issues of gender, and to environmentalism and argues for a convergence of the platforms and the critiques of environmentalists and developmentalists. The culminating chapter, building on earlier contributions, holds that current Third World indebtedness is profoundly exploitative, and that Third World debts should be unconditionally cancelled.

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