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Fairness in PracticeA Social Contract for a Global Economy$
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Aaron James

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199846153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199846153.001.0001

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Hobbesian Skepticism

Hobbesian Skepticism

(p.77) Chapter Three Hobbesian Skepticism
Fairness in Practice

Aaron James

Oxford University Press

This chapter challenges “realist” skepticism about the applicability of fairness in a politically decentralized global economy. It argues that trade relations are not a situation of anarchy that justifies the suspension of obligations of fair play. The trading system is now a relatively well-assured social practice that gives rise to a collective international responsibility to uphold fair terms of economic cooperation. Trade negotiations are subject to broadly legislative responsibilities. These are inconsistent with the dominant understanding of reciprocity in market access concessions. The chapter also challenges views that limit the scope of social justice to coercive relations found only or largely within the domestic state.

Keywords:   Hobbes, neo-realism, anarchy, bargaining, assurance, fair play, reciprocity, coercion, power relations, parochial egalitarianism, collective responsibility, social justice

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