Since its inception the EU has proclaimed an ambition to promote justice at the global level. Reconsidering European Contributions to Global Justice (GLOBUS) combines normative and empirical research to critically assess the EU's impact on global justice.
Justice as a contested concept
GLOBUS’ scholars engage with the nascent debates on how we should think about justice beyond the jurisdiction of the state. They contribute to these debates on what justice beyond the borders of states could be by proposing a novel conceptual and evaluative scheme.
Three different conceptions, prioritising some challenges to global justice over others, are delineated. The first conceives of justice as non-dominance, the second of justice as impartiality and the third of justice as mutual recognition. Advantages and disadvantages of these conceptions in tackling the challenges to global justice will be spelt out and assessed.
Justice in the context of globalisation – actors and issues
What is considered a legitimate claim of justice in the eyes of Europe may collide with perspectives elsewhere in the world. And the realisation of justice may be inhibited by power relations, unequal competences and the prevailing ‘system of states’. GLOBUS takes heed of global structures that may inhibit or facilitate the realisation of different goals of justice.
GLOBUS scholars combine analyses of the EU’s positions and policies on key aspects of global justice, with in-depth studies of third parties’ (state and non-state actors) perspectives on the practice of the EU. There is a particular focus on emerging powers – the BRICS states. Core sectors to be analysed are climate change, development and trade, security, and migration. Gender is addressed as a cross-cutting issue within all sectors.
Researchers examine similarities and differences in perspectives on what would be an adequate theory of global justice, of who makes claims of justice globally and on what grounds. GLOBUS thus pursues the principled and practical dilemmas involved in developing a foreign policy to improve conditions for global justice.
Due to the fact of globalisation, there is now a context of justice beyond the state. Migration and security issues as well as trade schemes and climate changes know no borders and are affecting the interests and values of human beings worldwide. They have a global reach.
Which conception of justice does the EU promote in its attempt to handle different facets of legal and illegal migration? Has migration as an issue area been decoupled from the question of justice due to securitisation?
The EU has made efforts to mainstream climate issues in its bilateral and multilateral political dialogues as well as its development policies. How does the EU conceive of its duties in the context of climate change?
Global economic inequalities are major sources of injustice. As a key international actor in this realm the EU wields enormous power to influence the course of global trade and development policies. Is it possible to square solidarity with the deprived ones with pressure for competitiveness; how does the EU conceive of its duties with regard to ensuring a more just economic order at the global level?
Security issues give rise to the most pressing demands on the EU’s foreign policy and present some of the most complex problems. Even if the EU, in its normative commitments, were to officially renounce self-interested behaviour in the pursuit of its foreign policy, its attempt to promote global justice in key areas of security encounters competing normative principles and may be contested.
An adequate understanding of global justice must also take into account the competing viewpoints of actors involved. GLOBUS compares and contrasts the perspectives of the BRICS states and the EU on key issues of global justice.