Economic justice in an unfair world

Recent years have seen a growing number of activists, scholars, and even policymakers claiming that the global economy is unfair and unjust, particularly to developing countries and the poor within them.

by Ethan Kapstein
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

But what would a fair or just global economy look like? Economic Justice in an Unfair World seeks to answer that question by presenting a bold and provocative argument that emphasizes economic relations among states.

The book provides a market-oriented focus, arguing that a just international economy would be one that is inclusive, participatory, and welfare-enhancing for all states. Rejecting radical redistribution schemes between rich and poor, Ethan Kapstein asserts that a politically feasible approach to international economic justice would emphasize free trade and limited flows of foreign assistance in order to help countries exercise their comparative advantage.

Kapstein also addresses justice in labor, migration, and investment, in each case defending an approach that concentrates on nation-states and their unique social compacts. Clearly written for all those with a stake in contemporary debates over poverty reduction and development, the book provides a breakthrough analysis of what the international community can reasonably do to build a global economy that works to the advantage of every nation.

"The globalizing economy is offering exciting opportunities to some, but that is little comfort to the millions who are sinking ever deeper into poverty. What should the wealthy world do? Ethan Kapstein offers an answer that combines a powerful critique of ideas about international justice and a hard-headed alternative solution." Ngaire Woods, Oxford University

Ethan B. Kapstein is Paul Dubrule Professor of Sustainable Development, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, Director of the INSEAD Business in Society Centre of Excellence; and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C. He is also a Senior Adviser to the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, and, during 2003-2006, a Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Princeton University Press, 2006

INSEAD 2006

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