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IS THE SCOPE OF GLOBAL JUSTICE DEVELOPING FURTHER BEYOND MEMBERSHIP IN A COMMON POLITICAL COMMUNITY?

By

Yashika Atul Kotecha, Pursuing LLM from Symbiosis International University.


The significance of “global justice” can be well explained in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” also he quoted that, “No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” In the 21st century, it is an undeniable fact that, the destiny/ faith of the countries are related to each other. Development in one leads to the transfiguration in other countries, not only in terms of demand and supply but also for making or breaking the economy. Hence, the United Nations Organisation was formed in 1945, having 193 member countries and 6 organs with the objective of flourishing friendly relations and co-operation among the countries over the world. However, inequality, unfair distribution of resources, the dominance of the strong is, was and will always remain a constant stigma in the world. All we can do is to take pains and accelerate global justice through distributive justice and international cooperation. Through this article, I put a question unto myself : Does Global justice mean to support/ assist other countries on the cost of the country’s own development and sovereignty. In other words,Is Global justice justified in today’s era”?


There are hundreds of schemes, strategies and conferences every year by the UN, to make this world a better place, to enhance sustainability, meet climate changes, look into the problems of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of the world and solve their problems. Not only this but also there are countless laws, notifications and conventions to reduce disparities and promote justice in the entire world. Despite making such efforts, I somewhere believe that the problems faced by the powerless and vulnerable countries (both developing and underdeveloped) are just limited, in today’s era to mere statistical figures in the reports or the highlights of the news channels. Are we failing to achieve Cosmopolitanism in the guise of satisfying our Communal growth?


Global justice’, coined by Henry Oruka, means equitable distribution of resources by the haves to the have-nots, providing just and fair opportunities to everyone. However, the fact remains that, are the countries humanitarian enough to strive for global justice at the cost of their fortune. It is a practical notion that you should help others if you have sufficient resources for yourself first. However, it is rightly said that one rotten apple has the power to spoil the whole barrel, similarly, a catastrophe in any part of the world can do the same to other well-functioning nations.

ARE WE RECONDITIONING THE MEANING OF GLOBAL JUSTICE WITH THE CHANGING CONDITIONS?

In Burkina Faso, Niger and South Sudan – the African countries at the bottom of the rank – literacy rates are still below 30%,[1] however these figures are constantly improving in the countries, which have the dominant position in the international arena. Because of this high and rising inequality within countries, the top 1% richest individuals in the world captured twice as much growth as the bottom 50% individuals since 1980.[2]As per the world economic situation and prospectus, 2020, published recently by the United Nations (hereinafter referred as UN), it states that [3]Global cooperation mechanisms will need to recognize this shifting balance while continuing to allow the underrepresented to be heard.


A recent United Nations report shows that 20% of development progress was lost in recent years due to the unequal distribution of education, health, and living standards.[4] I further contend that every country has its limitations, but the need of an hour is to take charge of the countries, which requires it, rather than watching the mute show coupled with tongue-tied and unexpressed impulsive thumbs- up, under the selfish guise of few developed countries. Equitable and fair distribution of resources is deeply rooted in global justice, which collectively aims at making the world a better place, with the optimum utilization of scarce resources. In the words of Stanley Hoffman, global justice is “starting from what is and groping towards the “ought” [5]. The term “global justice” is synonymous with “distributive justice” coupled with crafting fairly, and providing equal opportunity, which cast the responsibility on the developed and prosperous countries to extend helping hands and assistance to the unfortunate ones, by making them equipped enough to adhere to their self-identity and dignity.


The concept of ‘Cosmopolitanism’, by Thomas Pogge, in his seminal book, World Poverty and Human Rights, which means ‘citizen of the world’ and also implies that every person in the world is accredited to equal respect and dignity, irrespective of his/ her country of origin. It means that there should be no distinction prima facie between the citizens of California and that of Albania or any other country, nor there should be injustice in the distribution of the resources.


Citing the infamous case of Amazon Rainforest, President Bolsonaro has drawn intense domestic and international criticism for failing to protect the region.[6] Seven Countries have signed the Forest Protection Pact, but will that be enough to end the crises, doesn’t it requires all the developed countries, to come together and extend helping hands and shift financial resources and also for the United Organisation to have continuous monitoring. The fact that one needs to take into consideration is this that the call for crises should not be an alarm for the countries to come together, rather we should have strict global standards and unity to fight for any unforeseen catastrophe. Global Unity and Global Equality are an integral part of Global Justice. In this regard, the contemporary theory of distributive justice, propounded by Rawls still stands as a guiding light. Hence, I believe that indeed Global (In) equality bothers, and there is a need for enhancing the scope of Global justice.


There is no denying of the fact that countries in the guise of their selfish motives, fail to recognise the humanitarian aspect of their actions. The United Kingdom has taken a major step, in recent times to exit itself from the European Union, for achieving its personal development, objectives and also to craft their separate sovereignty. This issue is further expressed by their Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Justice Minister Micheal Gove, that the rules by the EU are onerous and far more interfering. The sovereign State of the UK minted their currency and wanted to write their destiny separate and independent from the carbon of the European Union. How far is this act justified is a question and area of through research. How far the developed countries have accepted to accelerate the scope of global justice and how far is “Global justice justified in today’s era”?


HAS Trade and transaction accelerated the process of globalization?

Trade and transaction are the backbones for the survival of any economy. It is the performance of the trade in an economy which determines the success and growth of the country, having direct linkage with employment, capital availability, liquidity, production and supply. Consisting of several other interrelated benefits, India in its most crucial stage of development introduced the policy of LPG, in 1991 with main objective to plunge Indian economy into the arena of “Globalization” and to give it a new thrust on market orientation. The policy was intended to move towards higher economic growth rate and to build sufficient foreign exchange reserves. It wanted to achieve economic stabilization and to convert the economy into a market economy by removing all kinds of unnecessary restrictions. The policy aimed at increasing the participation of private players in all sectors of the economy.[7]It is an undeniable fact that the world today has turned into a global village, and free trade is the most common reason for that. Gone are the days when youngsters had craving for buying latest fashion apparel from Zara or H&M, newest Apple handset, brand new handbag from Chanel, a French-based fashion house, and allied products at their domestic markets, with ease and at an affordable cost. However, the impact of globalisation has reduced the distance between merely dreaming and living those dreams. This is the power of Globalisation. E-Commerce also commonly known as online shopping is also an important development in the arena of globalisation.


Trading across the domestic borders, not only accelerates globalisation but also imbibes sense of independence, motivation and networking. It plays an important role in strengthening local markets and also in boosting the production. Globalization is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide.[8] Improvements in technology, communication, transport, the rise of MNCs, reduced tariffs; have tremendously helped to expedite Globalisation. It has far-reaching effects in terms of accelerating social, political, economic and cultural freedom. Globalisation and Liberalisation in India have played a magnificent role. Within a few years of adopting LPG policy, India not only became the second-largest economy after China, but it also improved its fiscal policies and position in the global markets, thus transforming itself into a strong economy, before the whole world. Rising tariffs and months of shifting between the escalation and de-escalation of global trade tensions have fuelled policy uncertainty, significantly curtailed investment, and pushed global trade growth down to 0.3 per cent in 2019—its lowest level in a decade. Bilateral trade between the United States of America and China has plummeted, with significant disruptions to international supply chains.[9] Present-day pandemic has highly affected trade and business across the country, hence, posing a great threat to the WTO objective of attaining free and fair trade, and removing all the barriers therein. China has developed strained conditions with many developing and developing countries in the past few months, which has also somewhere affected the global markets and thus disturbing the smooth progress of Globalisation.


Globalisation enhances the production and supply of products in the markets, thereby reducing the cost per piece and making things available in local/ domestic markets at the affordable costs. Moreover, globalisation provides ample opportunity for countries around the world whereby lifting employment, investment, GDP and national income. According to the McDonald's Corporation website as of January 2020,[10] McDonald's has locations in over 100 countries. More than 38,000 restaurants around the world serve 69 million people every day. Expansion of trade across borders increases variety in the market along with shared technology and cultural ideas. No country is self-sufficient hence, they import goods to meet the needs of their domestic population, and on the similar parlance, they export the commodities which have more supply than the demand in their own countries. In the guise of this transaction, the country of export applies protectionist policy in the form of taxes, tariffs and import duties on the country of origin to allow them to perform free trade in their country. Indeed protectionist policies are vital to restrict the dominant position of the country of origin in the country of export, but it also creates a hurdle on the developing countries to meet the excessive and protectionist policies engraved upon them.


“COVID-19 has resulted in an almost unprecedented drop in economic output and trade. Trade will play a fundamental role in making a strong economic recovery possible, so it is encouraging to see the general commitment by G20 countries to keep trade flowing.[11] Indeed the situations are adverse and the trade activities are moving slow, but this is not going to last forever. Through transparency, collective actions and co-ordination among the countries we can raise the bar of our development.


[1] https://ourworldindata.org/global-education

[2]http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a0c602bf43b5594845abb81/t/5a3850658165f5e58acc60c2/1513640041168/wir2018-summary-english.pdf

[3] https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/WESP2020_FullReport.pdf

[4] http://www.hdr.undp.org/

[5] https://www.e-ir.info/2016/01/29/global-justice-an-exegesis-of-contemporary-theories/

[6] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-49609702

[7] https://www.manifestias.com/2019/12/10/lpg-reforms-in-india/#:~:text=The%20policy%20was%20intended%20to,all%20kinds%20of%20unnecessary%20restrictions.

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization

[9]https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/wpcontent/uploads/sites/45/WESP2020_FullReport.pdf

[10]https://corporate.mcdonalds.com/corpmcd/en-us/our-stories/article/ourstories.q4-and-2019-results.html

[11] https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news20_e/trdev_18nov20_e.htm