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Political Theory of Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Case for the World State (Routledge Innovations in Political Theory) [Hardcover]

Luis Cabrera

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Book Description

22 July 2004 0415700221 978-0415700221 annotated edition
Could global government be the answer to global poverty and starvation?

Cosmopolitan thinkers challenge the widely held belief that we owe more to our co-citizens than to those in other countries. This book offers a moral argument for world government, claiming that not only do we have strong obligations to people elsewhere, but that accountable integration among nation-states will help ensure that all persons can lead a decent life.

Cabrera considers both the views of those political philosophers who say we have much stronger obligations to help our co-citizens than foreigners and those cosmopolitans who say our duties are equally strong to each but resist restructuring.

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More About the Author

Luis Cabrera's research explores ways to promote human rights protections through the gradual institutional transformation of the global system. His most recent book, The Practice of Global Citizenship (Cambridge University Press 2010), seeks to identify the universal human duties that correspond to individual economic and political rights. His theoretical claims were informed by extensive field work at sites of intense unauthorized immigration in the United States, Mexico, and Western Europe. The book received the 2011 Yale H. Ferguson Prize from the International Studies Association-Northeast.

In his first book, Political Theory of Global Justice (2004; paperback 2006), he argues for democratically accountable political integration above the state, up to some form of fully global government. His current book project, The Possibility of Global Political Community, locates best practices for suprastate democracy through giving fine-grained attention to democracy under conditions of deep diversity in such states as India, and within the European Union.

Since 2007, he has taught international ethics in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK), where he also serves as an Associate Member of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics. From 2002-07, he taught at Arizona State University.

Before turning to academics full time, he worked as a staff reporter for The Associated Press in Seattle (USA), covering criminal justice issues, politics, the anti-corporate-globalisation movement, the Seattle music scene, and the NBA Seattle SuperSonics.

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Review

'A useful contribution to the growing field of literature on cosmopolitanism because of its focus on institutions.' -Amy E. Eckert, Political Studies Review 

'This book is a valuable contribution to the field. In addition, Cabrera's background as a journalist is evident and his writing style makes the book a pleasant, as well as informative, read.' - Amy E. Eckert, Political Studies Review 

'Luis Cabrera has the courage to state a truth long shrouded in denial. If we are serious about treating persons with equal respect, we must work toward the creation of a democratic world government. Using a variety of moral and empirical arguments, Cabrera shows that such a transformation is not only desirable but also possible. He responds skilfully to numerous objections, and develops a humane, reasonable, and realistic program of institutional reform. This is a comprehensively researched, boldly original, and powerfully persuasive book that no student of global justice can afford to miss.'- Jamie Mayerfeld, University of Washington, USA

About the Author

Luis Cabrera, a former staff reporter for The Associated Press, teaches political theory and global politics at Arizona State University West, USA.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Finding nation-states on a map is diverting child's play, a memory game using the brightly colored, oddly shaped pieces of the global political puzzle. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Political Theory of Global Justice 14 Sep 2005
By Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Political Studies Review

Volume 3 Issue 3 Page 456 - September 2005

Reviewer: AMY E. ECKERT

(Metropolitan State College of Denver)

Luis Cabrera's Political Theory of Global Justice makes a useful contribution to the growing literature on cosmopolitanism because of its focus on institutions. Many recent explorations of cosmopolitan justice have dealt primarily or solely with universally applicable principles. While Cabrera does spend some time on the arguments against and in favour of a cosmopolitan order, his focus is on institutions. Those who have proposed institutional restructuring, notably Thomas Pogge and Andrew Kuper, have remained in a minority. Cabrera argues that the implementation of universally applicable principles, notably the right of each person to live a decent life, requires some politically restructuring. Like Pogge and Kuper, Cabrera also proposes a dilution of sovereignty. Against the Westphalian system Cabrera offers a globally integrated alternative. This system of integration would include democratic institutions above the state, like a European Union (EU) composed of individuals rather than states, alongside partially sovereign states and sub-state communities. In addition, Cabrera envisions cross-cutting institutions that fulfil issue-specific purposes. The combination of these two types of structures makes Cabrera's institutional cosmopolitan ap-proach unique. In addition to spelling out an ideal set of institutions, Cabrera also proposes a roadmap about getting from here to there. In effect, if the functionalist analysis of EU integration is correct, global economic integration will likely lead us to some form of political integration on the global scale. The point Cabrera makes is that this political integration should take a shape that mitigates differences in the opportunities available to individuals. Because Cabrera focuses on institutions, rather than principles, this book is probably not a good starting point for those new to cosmopolitanism. Nevertheless, this book is a valuable contribution to the field. In addition, Cabrera's background as a journalist is evident and his writing style makes the book a pleasant, as well as informative, read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Political Theory of Global Justice 23 Feb 2006
By Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reviewer: AMY E. ECKERT

(Metropolitan State College of Denver)

Luis Cabrera's Political Theory of Global Justice makes a useful contribution to the growing literature on cosmopolitanism because of its focus on institutions. Many recent explorations of cosmopolitan justice have dealt primarily or solely with universally applicable principles. While Cabrera does spend some time on the arguments against and in favour of a cosmopolitan order, his focus is on institutions. Those who have proposed institutional restructuring, notably Thomas Pogge and Andrew Kuper, have remained in a minority. Cabrera argues that the implementation of universally applicable principles, notably the right of each person to live a decent life, requires some political restructuring. Like Pogge and Kuper, Cabrera also proposes a dilution of sovereignty.

Against the Westphalian system Cabrera offers a globally integrated alternative. This system of integration would include democratic institutions above the state, like a European Union (EU) composed of individuals rather than states, alongside partially sovereign states and sub-state communities. In addition, Cabrera envisions cross-cutting institutions that fulfil issue-specific purposes. The combination of these two types of structures makes Cabrera's institutional cosmopolitan approach unique.

In addition to spelling out an ideal set of institutions, Cabrera also proposes a roadmap about getting from here to there. In effect, if the functionalist analysis of EU integration is correct, global economic integration will likely lead us to some form of political integration on the global scale. The point Cabrera makes is that this political integration should take a shape that mitigates differences in the opportunities available to individuals.

Because Cabrera focuses on institutions, rather than principles, this book is probably not a good starting point for those new to cosmopolitanism. Nevertheless, this book is a valuable contribution to the field. In addition, Cabrera's background as a journalist is evident and his writing style makes the book a pleasant, as well as informative, read.

From back cover of 2006 Paperback edition:
Luis Cabrera has the courage to state a truth long shrouded in denial. If we are serious about treating persons with equal respect, we must work toward the creation of a democratic world government...He responds skilfully to numerous objections, and develops a humane, reasonable, and realistic program of institutional reform. This is a comprehensively researched, boldly original, and powerfully persuasive book that no student of global justice can afford to miss.

Jamie Mayerfeld, University of Washington, USA

I am very much impressed with Luis Cabrera's new book, Political Theory of Global Justice ...Cabrera's work is currently gaining the attention of leading thinkers in the Global Justice area...I suspect many readers will want to track it down.

Gillian Brock, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Cabrera has written an innovative study of a topic of growing interest in university settings... There are very few books that address these themes with comparable knowledge, clarity, and sophistication. It will be a real contribution to the possibilities of spreading awareness about these issues...

Richard Falk, UC Santa Barbara, USA

Cabrera's book offers two valuable contributions to [the study of global politics]. First, it articulates a substantive position on global justice that needs to be articulated...It helps critics and sympathizers alike to orient their thinking around the moral demands of cosmopolitanism. Second, Cabrera reviews the most important views on global justice fairly and above all accessibly. This makes the book an ideal teaching tool.

Mika LaVaque-Manty, University of Michigan, USA

Cabrera's book represents an important position in the literature on Global Justice, in part because of his unflinching adoption of a strong institutional cosmopolitan position. It is very accessible, both because it is clear and well written, and because it draws on the major theorists and writings in the field.

J. Donald Moon, Wesleyan University, USA

[Cabrera's book] provides an excellent account of the major intellectual positions in play in current debates, and contributes its own provocative and thoughtful voice to this conversation.

Patrick Neal, University of Vermont, USA
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