S42 | The European Union: Promoting or Obstructing Global Justice?

Section Chairs:

Helene Sjursen,
University of Oslo

Ben Tonra,
University College Dublin

Global justice is most often thought of as a matter of what would be a fair distribution of goods and resources – hence the quest for global distributive justice. But also a hegemon can distribute goods in a just manner: the focus on distribution of goods in theories of justice blends out the first question of justice, namely that of political power. In this section we propose to engage with the theoretical debates on global political justice through analyses of the EU's global role. While being a polity that grapples with its own internal dilemmas of justice, the European Union also presents itself as an actor that promotes and safeguards values at the global level. But how precisely does this system, this unfinished order of institutionalised duties and obligations, project itself unto the global arena? In the context of intensified globalisation and economic integration, there is increasing recognition that the settlement of justice claims cannot be confined to domestic political settings. Yet, the concept of justice is contested. To the extent that the EU contributes to enhance global justice, what conception of justice does it rely upon and to what extent is this conception echoed by state and non-state actors outside of Europe? In this section we aim to bring together papers that address the conceptual debate on global political justice, and link this to the specific question of the EU's global role. Thus, we aim to cross disciplinary boundaries, in particular between international political theory, international relations and EU studies.

This section is linked to the research project GLOBUS (Reconsidering European Contributions to Global Justice).