‘The Donor’s Dilemma: International Aid and Human Rights Violations’ (with Niheer Dasandi), British Journal of Political Science (forthcoming).
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Abstract: Donor governments often face a dilemma when providing development aid to states that violate human rights. While aid may contribute to positive development outcomes, it may also contribute to rights violations committed by these regimes. This article provides a conceptual framework for donors to address this dilemma in a normatively justified way. Drawing on recent methodological advancements in normative political theory, we develop a distinctively political framework of dilemmas, suggesting three models: complicity, double effect and dirty hands. We consider this framework in the context of development aid, discussing the relevant considerations for donors in different cases. We demonstrate that an approach to development assistance that acknowledges political realities does not have to be normatively silent.
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Abstract: This article presents a new understanding of the problem of cosmopolitan motivation in war, and argues that it could be usefully compared to the motivational critique of social justice cosmopolitanism. I argue against meta-ethical and ethical interpretations of the problem, and maintain that the salient issue is not whether an individual soldier is able to be motivated by cosmopolitan concerns, or whether being motivated by cosmopolitanism would be too demanding. Rather, the problem is a political one: given considerations of legitimacy in the use of political power, a democratic army has to be able to motivate its soldiers to take on the necessary risks without relying on coercion alone. Patriotic identification offers a way to achieve this in wars of national defense, but less so in armed humanitarian interventions (AHIs). I consider the implications of this argument for states’ responsibility to engage in humanitarian interventions.
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Abstract: This article reconstructs the political motivation argument against cosmopolitanism, according to which the extension of social justice beyond bounded communities would be motivationally unstable, and thus unjustified. It does so through an analysis of the stability problem, and a reconstruction of the three most prominent anti-cosmopolitan arguments – Rawlsian statism, liberal nationalism, and civic republicanism – as solutions to this problem. It then examines, and rejects, three prominent objections, each denying a different level of the argument. The article concludes that the civic republican version of the argument is the most plausible, and implications for cosmopolitanism are considered.
Abstract: David Axelsen has recently introduced a novel critique of the motivational argument against cosmopolitanism: even if it were the case that lack of motivation could serve as a normative constraint, people’s anti-cosmopolitan motivations cannot be seen as constraints on cosmopolitan duties as they are generated and reinforced by the state. This article argues that Axelsen’s argument misrepresents the nationalist motivational argument against cosmopolitanism: the nationalist motivational argument is best interpreted as an argument about normative feasibility rather than as an argument about the technical feasibility. Nationalists’ objection to cosmopolitanism arises not from the impossibility of cosmopolitan motivation but from the moral costs of achieving and sustaining it. Given this interpretation, this article argues that Axelsen fails to demonstrate that nationalists would have to accept cosmopolitan conclusions from their own premises.
‘Reconsidering Richard Rorty’s Private-Public Distinction’, Humanities Vol. 2(2), May 2013 (Special Issue: The Legacy of Richard Rorty): pp. 193-208
Abstract: This article provides a new interpretation of Richard Rorty’s notion of the private-public distinction. The first section of the article provides a short theoretical overview of the origins of the public-private distinction in Rorty’s political thought and clarifies the Rortian terminology. The main portion of the article is dedicated to the critique of Rorty’s private-public distinction, divided into two thematic sections: (i) the private-public distinction as undesirable and (ii) the private-public distinction as unattainable. I argue that Rorty’s formulation provides plausible answers to the first kind of criticism, but not to the second. Finally, a reformulation of the private-public distinction will be suggested, which both mitigates the second line of criticism and better coheres with Rorty’s general theory.
Abstract: Charges of labor rights abuses and environmental harm are common for major brands that source from global supply chains. However, brand attempts to police supply chains to enforce company standards seldom serve as an effective long-term solution. This paper is based on in-depth interviews conducted in 2009 with Gap management and key external stakeholder representatives, and discusses the change in approach towards addressing labor rights abuses in Gap’s supply chain in Cambodia and India.