Global Justice

My work in global justice developed as a response to and critique of John Rawls’ writings in the area. In Cosmopolitan Justice, I developed a cosmopolitan variant of the political constructivism that Rawls employed and argued that it implied a global egalitarian view of distributive justice and a cosmopolitan account of just cause. In Global Inequality Matters, I argued that respect for human dignity entails an attitude of justificatory respect and the latter entailed a presumption in favour of egalitarianism in associations of the relevant Kind. The global economy, I argued, is one such association. This is the basis for condemning as unjust the inequalities of the global economy. 


Global ethics focuses on the most pressing contemporary ethical issues - poverty, global trade, terrorism, torture, pollution, climate change and the management of scarce recourses. It draws on moral and political philosophy, political and social science, empirical research, and real-world policy and activism. The Routledge Handbook of Global Ethics is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject, presenting an authoritative overview of the most significant issues and ideas in global ethics. The 31 chapters by a team of international contributors are structured into six key parts:

  • normative theory
  • conflict and violence
  • poverty and development
  • economic justice
  • bioethics and health justice
  • environment and climate ethics.

Covering the theoretical and practical aspects of global ethics as well as policy, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Global Ethics provides a benchmark for the study of global ethics to date, as well as outlining future developments. It will prove an invaluable reference for policy-makers, and is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, international relations, political science, environmental and development studies and human rights law. 

The globalization of trade, investment, and finance continues apace. Many have benefited from this, but deep inequalities persist. This book argues that the interconnections established by globalization make possible a critique of its inequality. For those who take seriously human dignity, equality is a basic presumption of social institution

'The novelty of Darrel Moellendorf's book resides in taking a clear global perspective on a number of issues that can be truly said to affect almost everyone in the world. They are global inequality, global institutions of governance, global climate change Dr. Moellendorf shows how this change of perspective often alters our conclusions (which we tend to draw by looking more narrowly at nation-states only) and how this may be the most appropriate perspective to take in an era of globalization like ours. His emphasis on equal personal respect owed to every individual, and on global equality of opportunity is most welcome. This is a book which, because of its candid global perspective and the arguments it makes, will be read and cited by specialists from numerous fields.' - Branko Milanovic, Development Research, World Bank, USA

'Darrel Moellendorf's timely book is a welcome addition to the literature of Global Ethics. It is well argued and offers the gift of a path for applying adroitly philosophical arguments to solve vexing contemporary global problems.' Eddy M. Souffrant, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, UNC Charlotte, USA

Global Justice is part of a two-volume set (with Global Ethics) that will aid in the study of global justice and global ethical issues with significant global dimensions. Some of those issues directly concern what individuals, countries, and other associations ought to do in response to various global problems, such as poverty, population growth, and climate change. Others concern the concepts that are commonly used to discuss such issues, such as "development" and "human rights." And still others concern the legitimacy of various phenomena that structure the global scene, such as national borders, the institutions of national sovereignty and self-determination, and attitudes such as nationalism and patriotism.

In recent decades, literature on such issues has started to build up in the Western philosophical tradition. Until now, though, no up-to-date sample of this literature has been available to students and other interested parties. These two books, companion volumes sold separately, fill this gap by providing a sample of the best recent work on these themes.

The papers collected in this volume represent some of the finest recent work by political philosophers and political theorists in the area of global justice. Covering both theoretical and applied issues, these papers are distinguished by their exceptional quality. Moreover, they give the reader a sense both of the scope of the field as it is currently emerging and the direction that the debates seem to be taking. This anthology is essential reading for anyone serious about understanding the current pressing issues in Global Justice Studies.

With contributions from: Richard Arneson, Charles Beitz, Luis Cabrera, Omar Dahbour, Robert Goodin, Dale Jamieson, John Lango, David Miller, Thomas Pogge, Sanjay Reddy, Mathias Risse, Gopal Sreenivasan, and James Sterba.

Increasing global economic integration and recent military interventions in the name of human rights have forced questions of global justice into political discussions. Is the unequal distribution of wealth across the globe just? What's wrong with imperialism? Are the most indebted countries obligated to pay back their loans to international financial institutions? What, if any, restrictions may be placed on immigration? Is economic protectionism just? Does respecting state sovereignty prohibit intervening in the affairs of other states? May interventions which curtail human rights abuses be just? What is the moral basis of international law?

Cosmopolitan Justice takes on these questions in the course of presenting a systematic account of global duties of justice. Many contemporary accounts of justice take its scope to be limited to the state. And, when attention is paid to international justice, the objects of moral concern are states. Moreover, there is a growing trend amongst political philosophers and theorists to argue that nationality presents a source of special moral duties. Cosmopolitan Justice argues against these views, and the book also provides a justification of global duties of justice, which are owed to all persons, regardless of their citizenship or nationality. The book applies this perspective to a number of international issues. 

Articles & Chapters

Economic Contagion and Pro-Poor Social Epidemiology" Journal of Social Philosophy, 52, 2021, 270-284.

“Real World Global Egalitarianism" in Robin Eckersley and Chris Brown ed. Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

“Global Distributive Justice: The Cosmopolitan Point of View," in David Held and Pietro Maffettone eds. Global Political Theory (London: Polity Press, 2016).

Anti-Poverty, Development, and the Limits of Progress" (Contribution to a special issue on Poverty, Ethics, and Justice by Hennie Lötter), Res Publica, published online 2016. doi:10.1007/s11158-016-9329-y.

Can a Liberal State Make Access to Medical Education Conditional on Public Service?" (Contribution to a special issue on Debating Brain Drain by Gillian Brock and Michael Blake), Moral Philosophy and Politics, 3:1, 2016, 45-54.

“Assistance, duty of," “Cosmopolitanism," and “Outlaw states" in Jon Mandle and David Riedy eds. A Rawls Lexicon, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 162-168; 226-228; 586-587.

“Global Ethics Then and Now", Journal of Global Ethics, 10:3, 2014, 319-325. Co-author Heather Widdows.

“Transcendental Institutionalism and Global Justice," Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 16:2, 2013, 162-178.

Human Dignity, Associative Duties, and Egalitarian Global Justice," in Gillian Brock ed. Cosmopolitanism For and Against, Oxford University Press, 2013, 222-238.

“Cosmopolitanism and Compatriot Duties," The Monist, 94:4, October 2011, 535-554.

“Why Global Inequality Matters," Journal of Social Philosophy, 42:1, 2011, 99-109.

“Human Dignity, Respect, and Global Inequality," Journal of Global Ethics 6:3, December 2010, 339-352.

“Menschenwürde, Gleichheit und globale Gerechtigkeit," in Christoph Broszies and Henning Hahn eds., Globale Gerechtigkeit, Suhrkamp Verlag. 2010, 302-328.

“Absolute Poverty and Global Inequality," in Elke Mack, et al. eds., Absolute Poverty and Global Justice: Empirical Data, Moral Theories, and Initiatives,  Ashgate, 2009, 121-132.

“Brock on the Justification, Content, and Application of Global Justice," Journal of Global Ethics, 5:3, December 2009, 261-268.

“Global Inequality and Injustice," Journal of International Development, 21, 2009, 1125-1136.

“Constructing the Law of Peoples," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 77:2, June 1996, 132-154. Reprinted in Chandran Kukathas, ed., John Rawls: Critical Assessments of Leading Political Philosophers, Routledge, 2002; and in Thomas Pogge and Darrel Moellendorf, eds., Global Justice: Seminal Essays, Paragon, 2008. 

“La Justice et les Associations," Philosophiques, 34:1 Summer 2007, 61-75.

“Equal Respect and Global Egalitarianism," Social Theory and Practice, 32:4, Oct. 2006, 601-616.

“Equality of Opportunity Globalized," Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, XIX: 2, July 2006, 301-318.

“The World Trade Organization and Egalitarian Justice," Metaphilosophy, 36:1, January 2005, 145-162. Reprinted in Christian Barry and Thomas W. Pogge, eds., Global Institutions and Responsibilities: Achieving Global Justice, Blackwell, 2005, 141-158.

“Persons' Interests, States' Duties, and Global Governance," in Harry Brighouse and Gillian Brock, eds., The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism, Cambridge University Press, 2005, 148-163.

“Global Justice and the WTO," in Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili, eds., Confronting Globalisation: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, 242-257.

“Cosmopolitan Justice Reconsidered," Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, 104, 2004, 203-225.

Reply to Miller and Satz," International Journal of Politics and Ethics, 3:2, 2003, 253-268.

“Imperialism," Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, Dan Callahan, Peter Singer, and Ruth Chadwick, eds., Academic Press, 1997, 651-658. Second edition 2012.

“Liberalism, Nationalism, and the Right to Secede," Philosophical Forum, XXVIII:1-2, Fall-Winter 1996-1997, 87-97.

Reviews & Commissioned Papers

Rezension zu Aaron James, Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy in Mind, 122:486, 2013, 548-553.

Rezension zu Colleen Murphy, A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation in Ethics, 122:1, October 2011, 198-20.

Rezension zu Deen K. Chaterjee, ed., The Ethics of Assistance in Philosophical Review, 116:2, 2007, 287-293.

“Liberal Egalitarianism and Poverty," Ethikon Institute, 2007.

“World Ownership, Self-Ownership, and Equality in Georgist Philosophy" for the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 2005. 


Jan 10
08:00 AM

"Ukraine has no Jus ex Bello obligation to enter into concessionary negotiations" - Moellendorf in the FAZ

Original version and English translation of Moellendorf's recent article in Frankfurter Allegmeine Zeitung: “Ukraine has no Jus ex Bello obligation to enter into concessionary negotiations"

Jan 8
08:00 AM

Workshop: Conservation and Global Justice

Workshop with Chris Armstrong on his new book manuscript "Conservation and Global Justice: Responding fairly to the Biodiversity Crisis". More information here.

Dec 7
09:00 AM

CfA: Two Postdoctoral Fellowship in the program Global Health Justice

The Global Health Justice Postdoctoral Programm
is seeking to appoint up to two post-doctoral fellows for the academic year 2023/2024. More information here.
Apr 21
12:00 AM

Moellendorf mentioned in recent UN-report

Professor Moellendorf's 2020 paper “Responsibility for Increasing Mitigation Ambition" was mentioned and cited in the recent UN-report on climate change mitigation. See chapter 4, page 99.

Dec 12
12:00 AM

Moellendorf in the Daily Maverick

Darrel Moellendorf's reflections on eco-sabotage in the Daily Maverick can be found here.

Dec 8
12:00 AM

Moellendorf guest on "Hessen schafft Wissen" podcast

Darrel Moellendorf was interviewed for the podcast "Hessen schafft Wissen". You can listen to the interview under the heading "Mobilizing Hope in the Face of Climate Change" here.

Jul 1
12:00 AM

Panel discussion on the topic "Der urbane Planet"

Darrel Moellendorf participated in a discussion on the topic "Der urbane Planet - soziale, ökonomische und ökologische Herausforderungen für das globale Zusammenleben der Gegenwart" as part of the tinyMONDAY on the 5th of July. You can find further information here.  

Dec 11
12:00 AM

Conference on the topic "Normative Economic Policy"

Moellendorf gave a talk at the conference "Normative Economic Policy". You can find further information here


Team Assistant:

Ellen Nieß
Raum: 3.12
Tel.: +49 (0)69 / 798 - 31521
Fax:  +49 (0)69 / 798 - 31462

Richten Sie Ihre Fragen zum Thema Lehre bitte an: