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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 43, Issue 2, April 2017

Lior Erez
Pages 249-282
DOI: 10.5840/soctheorpract20172104

Anti-Cosmopolitanism and the Motivational Preconditions for Social Justice

Abstract: This article reconstructs the political motivation argument against cosmopolitanism, according to which the extension of social justice beyond bounded communities would be motivationally unstable, and thus unjustified. It does so through an analysis of the stability problem, and a reconstruction of the three most prominent anti-cosmopolitan arguments—Rawlsian statism, liberal nationalism, and civic republicanism—as solutions to this problem. It then examines, and rejects, three prominent objections, each denying a different level of the argument. The article concludes that the civic republican version of the argument is the most plausible, and implications for cosmopolitanism are considered.

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