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Moral Philosophy and Politics

Editor-in-Chief: Schefczyk, Michael

Managing Editor: Schmidt-Petri, Christoph

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Three Images of Trade: On the Place of Trade in a Theory of Global Justice

Mathias Risse / Gabriel Wollner
Published Online: 2014-10-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2014-0013


Economic theory teaches that it is in every country’s interest to trade. Trade is a voluntary activity among consenting parties. On this view, considerations of justice have little bearing on trade, and political philosophers concerned with global justice should stay largely silent on trade. According to a very different view that has recently gained prominence, international trade can only occur before the background of an international market reliance practice shaped by states. Trade is a shared activity among states, and all participating states have in principle equal claims to gains from trade. Trade then becomes a central topic for political philosophers. Both views are problematic. A third view about the role of trade in a theory of global justice is then presented, which gives pride of place to a (non-Marxian) notion of exploitation. The other two views should be abandoned.


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-10-28

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Moral Philosophy and Politics, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 201–225, ISSN (Online) 2194-5624, ISSN (Print) 2194-5616, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2014-0013.

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