• global justice;
  • contractualism;
  • Rawls;
  • Scanlon;
  • Law of Peoples;
  • legitimacy;
  • original position;
  • moral federalism

This article examines Rawls's and Scanlon's surprisingly undemanding contractualist accounts of global moral principles. Scanlon's Principle of Rescue requires too little of the world's rich unless the causal links between them and the poor are unreliable. Rawls's principle of legitimacy leads him to theorize in terms of a law of peoples instead of persons, and his conception of a people leads him to spurn global distributive equality. Rawls's approach has advantages over the cosmopolitan egalitarianism of Beitz and Pogge. But it cannot generate principles to regulate the entire global economic order. The article proposes a new cosmopolitan economic original position argument to make up for this lack in Rawls's Law of Peoples.