In recent work (National Responsibility and Global Justice 2007) David Miller has proposed a system of global basic rights, argued for via a humanitarian strategy, focusing on basic human needs. His position however remains non-cosmopolitan; he remains committed to strong national responsibility and social (rather than global) justice. His theory of social justice (Principles of Social Justice 1999) is pluralistic; he argues that there are three different principles of justice which apply within three different modes of relationship. One of these is the principle of need, which applies within solidaristic communities. Miller argues that need as a principle of justice is only feasible within such communities because they provide the necessary practical conception of need. This paper will explore the relationship between Miller's views in these two books. I will suggest that Miller's use of needs to underpin his system of basic rights might indicate that he is in some way committed to there being a global solidaristic community. If this were the case then it would provide ammunition for cosmopolitanism. I will suggest a way of reply for Miller, which will utilise his distinction between basic needs and societal needs to show how he might deny the existence of a global solidaristic community.
Pack your bags, we're moving
8 years ago