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Making the unequal global economic structure more just: Going beyond welfare economics, utilitarianism and Rawlsian ethical theories


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  • Hamid Hosseini
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop principles through which the global economic structure could become more equal and just; it begins by demonstrating that world poverty is pervasive, and that the global economic structure is very unequal. Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilizes conceptual/theoretical arguments in welfare economics, utilitarianism, Sen's capability approach, and Rawlsian theories of justice to argue that none of those theories can lead to a more equal global economic structure. Thus, the development of more egalitarian principles is needed. Findings – Arguing that the principles that Rawls developed in his 1999 The Law of Peoples are more egalitarian than the other theories, the paper still finds them less than adequate. However, the principles developed in the paper can lead the world toward a more just and much more egalitarian economic structure. Originality/value – Since the principles developed in the paper are more egalitarian, helping toward ending world poverty and extreme inequality, the paper and its findings constitute an original and a valuable contribution.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 200-211

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:humpps:v:26:y:2010:i:3:p:200-211

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK

    Related research

    Keywords: Justice; Poverty; Social welfare economics; World economy;


    References listed on IDEAS
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    1. Timothy Taylor, 2008. "Recommendations for Further Reading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 235-242, Winter.
    2. Timothy Taylor, 2008. "Recommendations for Further Reading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 235-242, Spring.
    3. Lerner, Abba P, 1972. "The Economics and Politics of Consumer Sovereignty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 258-66, May.
    4. Timothy Taylor, 2008. "Recommendations for Further Reading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 217-24, Fall.
    5. Timothy Taylor, 2008. "Recommendations for Further Reading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 223-30, Summer.
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