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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

This paper analyses the account of political obligation given by cosmopolitans and concludes that this account, which depends on a weak or thin connection between members of common humanity, leaves a motivational vacuum at the heart of cosmopolitanism. An alternative view, according to which material ties that bind prompt obligations of justice in a globalising world, is offered. This is ‘thick cosmopolitanism’.

An apparently exasperated Thomas Pogge opens his influential book World Poverty and Human Rights with this question: ‘How can severe poverty of half of humankind continue despite enormous economic and technological progress and despite the enlightened moral norms and values of our heavily dominant Western civilization?’ (Pogge, 2002, p. 3). One clue to an answer, of course, lies in the ‘despites’. Pogge implies that enormous economic and technological progress and enlightened Western moral norms and values provide the foundations for a just social and moral order, but any self-respecting Marxist, structuralist or political ecologist will hastily object that it is precisely that concept of progress and this set of moral norms and values that cause all the trouble in the first place. Indeed, Pogge himself hints at this kind of analysis when he implicates the global economic institutions designed in the West in the production of global poverty.

I could go down that road, but I am not going to – although I do not believe that there is anything in what follows with which Marxists, structuralists or political ecologists would fundamentally disagree. Instead, I am going to ask whether it is something about the principles of cosmopolitanism as they are usually expressed that fails to turn an intellectual commitment to them into a determination to act on them. I shall suggest that there is indeed a motivational problem with these principles, and I shall try to fill the motivational space that I identify at cosmopolitanism's heart. I do not want to be taken to imply that this space is completely empty; cosmopolitanism does offer an account of motivation, but this is malgré lui, rather than as a key component of the cosmopolitan package. Nor do I want to say that there has been no progress at all on turning cosmopolitan norms into cosmopolitan practice. My suggestion is rather that there are limits to cosmopolitanism's persuasiveness as long as its motivational heart remains unexamined.

Others have of course been here before. Toni Erskine speaks for many when she writes: ‘An important question for both moral philosophers and normative theorists of international relations is how we get from where we are currently standing, steeped in our own immediate circumstances, with our own particular ties and commitments, to concern for those with whom we share neither kinship nor country, neighbourhood nor nation’ (Erskine, 2002, p. 459). Erskine offers a very interesting answer herself to this question in the guise of ‘embedded cosmopolitanism’ (Erskine, 2000; 2002). I believe that Erskine points us in the right kind of direction, although I think that the notion of community that she deploys in the service of ‘embeddedness’ is not sufficiently robust to cope with the weight of commitment that she wishes to derive from it. I shall explain this in what follows.

The Architecture of Obligation

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

What is the best way into an examination of the motivational heart of cosmopolitanism? It is my belief that some of the time-honoured concepts and modes of enquiry in political theory have much to offer the cosmopolitan debate, and in this particular context an examination of the notion of political obligation turns out to be especially fruitful.

Political obligation is a key concept in political theory, and John Horton has written a classic account of it. In his book he writes of a

cluster of questions which are ... central to an understanding of political obligation: What political community does one belong to? How is membership of a polity determined? What duties or obligations does one have by virtue of one's membership? How are those duties or obligations to be judged relative to other commitments and obligations? The answers to these, and other similar, questions are central to any understanding of political obligation. Moreover, political philosophers have tended to see one question as fundamental: on what basis, in terms of what reasons, should we legitimately ascribe political obligations to people? It is this question of justification or explanation – and it is not always possible to separate them – which is the focus of most philosophical discussions of political obligation (Horton, 1992, p. 4).

All of these questions are relevant to the principles and practices of cosmopolitanism, and systematic engagement with them will enable us to make some progress on the issue of doing cosmopolitanism as well as believing in it. As I see it, Horton's list of questions boils down to four:

  • • 
    the scope of political obligation (who is obliged, and to whom?)
  • • 
    the nature of political obligation (what are we obliged to do?)
  • • 
    the source of political obligation (what triggers it?)
  • • 
    the limits to political obligation (how do political obligations ‘trade’ against other obligations and against rights that might ‘trump’ some obligations?)

For reasons of space, I shall focus here on the first three of these although the last point is indeed important in the context of a full treatment of why the endorsement of cosmopolitan principles does not necessarily lead to cosmopolitan practice – commitments to friends, family, colleagues and so on might override cosmopolitan sensibilities. My broader point in what follows, though, is that while those narrower commitments will always and quite properly weigh in the balance, the balance itself looks rather different from a thickly cosmopolitan perspective.

Cosmopolitanism and Obligation

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

How does cosmopolitanism answer these questions? First, in the case of scope this is a relatively easy matter. The scope of cosmopolitan obligations is in principle universal; it covers relations between all human beings. Some would argue that this is the defining feature of cosmopolitanism, and it is certainly the origin of many of the intellectual disputes in which cosmopolitanism finds itself engaged. Thus, cosmopolitans fight battles with communitarians and postmoderns of various types and hues; these want to claim that either the normative or the empirical basis – and sometimes both – of universalism is flawed. Andrew Linklater's The Transformation of Political Community is an outstanding example of a defence of cosmopolitanism against both of these anti-universalist currents (Linklater, 1998); characteristically generous to the opposition, Linklater nevertheless makes the universalist point stick – at the level of principle, at any rate. This universalism is helpfully summarised by Pogge as follows:

Three elements are shared by all cosmopolitan positions. First, individualism: the ultimate units of concern are human beings, or persons– rather than, say, family lines, tribes, ethnic, cultural, or religious communities, nations, or states. The latter may be units of concern only indirectly, in virtue of their individual members or citizens. Second, universality: the status of ultimate unit of concern attaches to every living human being equally– not merely to some subset, such as men, aristocrats, Aryans, whites, or Muslims. Third, generality: this special status has global force. Persons are ultimate units of concern for everyone– not only for their compatriots, fellow religionists, or suchlike (Pogge, 2002, page:169).

Second, cosmopolitanism's answer to the question of the nature of obligation – what are we obliged to do? – is less easy to summarise. There are in fact various answers. For example, we are obliged to avoid deception, to avoid harm (Linklater, 1998), to cultivate and exercise certain virtues (e.g. compassion), to empathise, to pity, to work towards the creation of open communities of discourse (Linklater, 1998), to refrain from participating in unjust institutions (Pogge, 2002), to do justice (Jones, 2002). I shall have more to say on the nature of obligation a little later on, as it is closely connected to the motivational question on which I want to focus, and which is – in turn – connected to the last of the three ‘obligation questions’: the source of obligation.

I take it that this question of the source of obligation is the one that gets us closest to the issue of motivation. It is widely recognised that some sources of obligation trigger stronger responses than others, and types of obligation are categorised accordingly. So we distinguish between ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ obligations, for example, between legal obligations, which are sanctionable, and broader ethical obligations, which are not. We talk of obligations of beneficence and obligations of justice, and we generally reckon that the former are those that it would be desirable to fulfil, in some broadly virtuous, benevolent and supererogatory sense, while those of the latter are obligations that it would be wrong not to fulfil. The motivations for obligation similarly vary with the case. Sometimes it is the threat of sanction that encourages obligation, while sometimes the reasons internal to the obligation (such as keeping a promise) are enough to trigger the obligatory response. Given this background, what are the sources of obligation for cosmopolitanism?

‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

It is difficult to be concisely comprehensive about the source of obligation in theories of cosmopolitanism because of the varieties of cosmopolitanism in existence. Elsewhere, (Dobson, 2003, pp. 21–32) I have brutally pressed these varieties into two camps, which I called ‘dialogic’ and ‘distributive’ cosmopolitanism. I have theories like Andrew Linklater's in mind as far as the former is concerned, and the range of approaches reviewed by Simon Caney (2001) in mind for the latter. Whatever their differences (and they are not as stark, of course, as this nomenclature suggests), these two broad streams of cosmopolitanism share similar ethical foundations: we should act on their injunctions, they say, because we are all members of a common humanity. So even though I focus my detailed comments in what follows on dialogic cosmopolitanism, what I have to say about its motivational foundations also apply (in this specific connection) to distributive cosmopolitanism.

Linklater uses the language of thick and thin to describe the ties that (might) bind, and I take it that we would agree that membership of a common humanity is a thin type of bind. Thus he supports a ‘thin conception of cosmopolitanism with no fixed and final vision of the future’ (Linklater, 1998, p. 48–9), and writes of a ‘thinner notion of progress that refers to the expanding circle of human sympathy which ought to be the aim of those who identify with the liberal community’ (Linklater, 1998, p. 69).

Linklater's support for thinness is driven, I think, by his determination to resist critiques of his position from communitarians and from postmodernists. These latter take the view that cosmopolitan universalism is a totalising project written in the image of specific, rather than universal, social and ethical formations. Linklater's response is direct: of all the defences of subaltern voices on offer, cosmopolitan universalism has the best chance of making impartial inclusion in a global dialogic community a reality: ‘A concern with the unjust systems of exclusion which restrict the opportunities of subordinate groups is the key to this form of ethical universalism’ (Linklater, 1998, p. 48). Rather than being part of the problem, then, recognition of ourselves in everyone else who occupies the thin skein of humanity on the surface of the globe is the answer to the problem of exclusion and subordination.

Now this thinness provides a compelling answer to the ‘scope’ question –contra communitarians of various sorts there is no good prima facie reason for treating strangers any differently to members of one's immediate community. But it leaves us with a motivational difficulty. Heidegger comes to mind: ‘the frantic abolition of all distances brings no nearness’ (quoted in Scholte, 2000, p. 178). Recognising the similarity in others of a common humanity might be enough to undergird the principles of cosmopolitanism, to get us to ‘be’ cosmopolitans (principles), but it doesn’t seem to be enough to motivate us to ‘be’ cosmopolitan (political action). So thinness solves one problem, but apparently at the expense of creating another.

On the face of it we cannot solve this problem by ‘going thick’ because this takes us into the enemy territory of communitarianism. Cosmopolitanism sets its face against the communitarian belief that, ‘norms are seen to be relative to specific communities, cultural identities and ways of being’ (Hutchings, 1999, p. 123). From this point of view, solving the ‘source’ problem seems to compound the ‘scope’ problem. Linklater, for one, is understandably apprehensive about going thick. Where he does use the language of thickness, interestingly, it is in the context of the nature of obligation (what are we obliged to do?), rather than in regard to its source (what makes us obliged to do this or that?). Thus he writes: ‘A thicker notion of citizenship involving economic and social support for the victims of uneven economic development and de-industrialisation is crucial if the achievements of national citizenship are to be carried forward into the international domain’ (Linklater, 1998, p. 203). The nature of our cosmopolitan obligation, in other words, is to provide economic and social support, but the source of that obligation remains our membership of a common humanity. Again: ‘thin conceptions of cosmopolitan citizenship revolve around compassion for the vulnerable but leave asymmetries of power and wealth intact; thick conceptions of cosmopolitan citizenship attempt to influence the structural conditions faced by vulnerable groups’ (Linklater, 1998, p. 206). Here the nature of obligation is to influence the structural bases of exclusion, but the source of that obligation is still mutual recognition of the thin ties of common humanity that bind us together.

‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

So in the context of the source of obligation, which is where I take it – I repeat – that the answer to the motivational problem is likely to lie, it seems that the only alternative to thin cosmopolitanism is thick communitarianism. This alternative is summarised in Table 1 below.

Table 1. 
 ThickThin
Cosmopolitanism?Thin cosmopolitanism
CommunitarianismThick communitarianism?

But this figure itself suggests two further alternatives: thin communitarianism and thick cosmopolitanism, as in Table 2.

Table 2. 
 ThickThin
CosmopolitanismThick cosmopolitanismThin cosmopolitanism
CommunitarianismThick communitarianismThin communitarianism

I confess to finding it hard to imagine what a thin communitarianism might look like. And while it might be equally difficult to conceive of a thick cosmopolitanism, that is what I am going to try to do.

Earlier, I mentioned Heidegger –‘the frantic abolition of all distances brings no nearness’– and I take it that one way of thinking about the motivational problem is in terms of nearness and distance. In a felicitous phrase, what we are seeking to do is to overcome the ‘tyranny of distance’ (Linklater, 2006), the distance that separates us one from another and that makes obligations seem supererogatory rather than strict. Unlike obligation, nearness is not a term one often comes across in the canon of political theory, and it has not been subjected to the same rigorous analysis as other concepts. Yet, I seem not to be alone in thinking that it might have some bearing on our subject. Thomas Pogge, for example, in seeking to answer the question I quoted near the beginning of this article –‘How can severe poverty of half of humankind continue despite enormous economic and technological progress and despite the enlightened moral norms and values of our heavily dominant Western civilization?’ (Pogge, 2002, p. 3) – offers us the following:

We live in extreme isolation from severe poverty. We do not know people scarred by the experience of losing a child to hunger, diarrhoea or measles, do not know anyone earning less than $10 for a 72-hour week of hard, monotonous labor. If we had such people as friends or neighbors, many more of us would believe that world poverty demands serious moral reflection and many more of us would hold that we should all help to eradicate this problem (Pogge, 2002, p. 4).

I do not want to comment on the specificities of this suggestion, except to say that while we might indeed feel more concern for friends and neighbours than for strangers, Pogge makes no suggestion as to how we might turn strangers into friends and neighbours (as it were), so it is not clear how this turn solves cosmopolitanism's motivational problems. The general point is well taken, though – that ‘nearness’ (whatever it means) has a bearing on our motivation to respond to the prompts of obligation. What cosmopolitanism requires is a ‘nearness’ to vulnerable, suffering, disadvantaged others, and the recognition that we are all members of a common humanity seems not to bring such others near enough.

Let me stress at this point that I am not now using ‘thick’ in the same way as communitarians such as Charles Taylor (1990) and Michael Walzer (1994). My argument is not (or at least not here) that thin stand-alone conceptions of the good are incoherent because they presuppose a thick conception of the good without which the very idea of morality and the possibility of making moral judgements would be impossible. Nor am I arguing that social meanings are always and only ‘thickly’ generated within specific cultural communities and that translation of those meanings across communities cannot take place. Indeed to suggest this would be to suggest that ‘thick cosmopolitanism’ is a contradiction in terms.1 The thickness to which I shall refer is a thickness of materiality rather than culture. What this means should become clear in what follows.

As I proceed, let me make one motivational assumption: we are more likely to feel obliged to assist others in their plight if we are responsible for their situation – if there is some identifiable causal relationship between what we do, or what we have done, and how they are. The reason why we feel especially moved by the act of the Good Samaritan in assisting the poor unfortunate by the side of the road is that the Samaritan was not at all responsible for his injuries: he acted out of beneficence, the kind of supererogation that marks off desirable actions that are good to do from those which it is wrong not to do. If, on the other hand, the Samaritan had been implicated in the man's suffering in some way or another, we would expect him to go to his aid and his act of succour would seem less remarkable.

There is no doubt that the Samaritan achieved ‘nearness’, and it is especially interesting that Jesus refers to his act as ‘neighbourly’ (Luke, 10:36). The Samaritan managed to turn the stranger into a neighbour in just the way that Thomas Pogge believes would be helpful in encouraging people to take the reduction of global poverty seriously (Pogge, 2002, p. 4). Although we are not told how the Samaritan arrived at this state of grace, it is likely that it was through some process of empathy, and this is indeed one mechanism for developing the right sorts of dispositions – cosmopolitan dispositions, indeed. The appeal to sceptics to recognise that they are members of a common humanity is, I take it, an appeal to the mechanism of empathy. But as well as illustrating the mechanism, the Samaritan story also illustrates how demanding a mechanism it is; as I said earlier, we are moved by the story precisely because we recognise the Samaritan's act is an extraordinary one. And to return to a point I raised in the previous paragraph, we regard it as extraordinary in part because he was not responsible for the man's plight and was, therefore, not required in any strong sense to do anything about it.

Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

Cosmopolitan accounts of motivation seem to me to be weak, therefore, because they rest on the universalisation of Samaritanism. This is simply very demanding. Is there an alternative? I believe there is, and it is interestingly present in Andrew Linklater's latest work on cosmopolitanism (Linklater, 2006). In this essay, Linklater effectively offers two models, or mechanisms, for producing ‘connected selves’ (Linklater, 2006). The first ‘starts with emotional dispositions not to harm at least a limited circle of others which first develop in family relations and are then extended to other members of society and possibly to all members of the human race’ (Linklater, 2006, p. 6). This is recognisably similar to the empathetic mechanism I discussed above, up to and including the eventual and familiar appeal to membership of a common humanity.

The second model is strikingly different to this. Linklater suggests that ‘cosmopolitan emotions are most likely to develop when actors believe that they are causally responsible for harming others and their physical environment’ (Linklater, 2006, p. 3). The main difference between these accounts of motivation is that ‘causal responsibility’ is identified in the second case. If I was right in my earlier assumption that we will feel more strongly obliged to respond to the suffering and disadvantage of others if we are responsible for it in some degree or other, then this second account of the formation of ‘connected selves’ is more powerful than the first. Causal responsibility produces a thicker connection between people than appeals to membership of common humanity, and it also takes us more obviously out of the territory of beneficence and into the realm of justice. If I cause someone harm I am required as a matter of justice to rectify that harm. If, on the other hand, I bear no responsibility for the harm, justice requires nothing of me – and although beneficence might be desirable I cannot be held to account (except in the court of conscience or God) for not exercising it. Linklater is surely right to say, then, that although ‘There are good reasons for thinking that moral responsibility can exist independently of causal responsibility for the suffering of others ... belief in a moral responsibility to assist others is often stronger when evidence of causal responsibility for suffering exists’ (Linklater, 2006).

This essay by Linklater is an exception to the general rule that reasoning from causal responsibility is largely absent in cosmopolitan theory. Perhaps this is because it is not regarded as cosmopolitan enough. Cosmopolitanism demands universality, and it seems that the bottom-up approach to connectedness that I am canvassing here can never reach the required levels of universality. I shall say something more about this shortly. In any case, though, there is a universality present in the causal responsibility approach, and that is that the obligation to do justice implicit in it is owed, in principle, to absolutely everyone without fear or favour. In this sense the causal responsibility approach unites the universal and the particular in an especially compelling way, just as ‘the duty to keep one's promises is general even while it triggers obligations only toward persons to whom one has actually made a promise’ (Pogge, 2002, p. 171).

To return to the first criticism, it might just be granted that a turn to causal responsibility offers a thicker account of the ties that bind and more compelling reasons for doing the right thing than appeals to membership of a common humanity can produce, but it may still be objected that there is not enough causal responsibility around to reach cosmopolitan levels of universalism. At this point, the account of post-national obligation offered here connects with a rather specific understanding of the nature of globalisation. Offering a complete analysis of globalisation would take me too far from my chosen path in this article, but in brief compass, the point is this: for all the talk of weightless economies and networks in hyperspace, globalisation is a material phenomenon of cause and effect. We might regard globalisation as that which consistently turns ‘Samaritan’ relationships into relationships of justice. Judith Lichtenberg has perceptively pointed out how, ‘Some of the relationships in virtue of which the earth now constitutes one world are so pervasive and far-reaching that they are difficult to pinpoint or to measure. There are also actions that may have harmful consequences without any direct involvement between agents and those affected. For these reasons, it is easy to ignore them as sources of obligation’ (Lichtenberg, 1981, p. 87). The idea that action-at-a-distance in a globalising world might be the source of hitherto unrecognised – even non-existent – obligations is a suggestive one, and is central to thick cosmopolitanism.2

Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

Allow me to offer an example of how globalisation turns apparently Samaritan relations into relations of causal responsibility and, therefore, of justice. I begin with a question. Why was the money transferred from the British government to the government of Mozambique after the floods of February and March 2000 referred to as ‘aid’? Aid refers us to the idea of help, assistance, succour, support, relief. Aid is regarded as the appropriate response to a situation in which others are suffering, in respect of which the donor can help, and which the donor has done nothing to engender. The giving of aid is voluntary. The disposition that drives aid is something like compassion, as in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Now, contrast the structure of aid with the structure of justice. Justice refers us to giving people their due, in connection with some antecedent action or agreement. The giver and the recipient of justice are, therefore, connected in ways that the giver and recipient of aid are not. Justice is regarded as the appropriate response to a situation in which others suffer, and which the giver has done something to engender. Moreover, the obligation to do justice is binding in a way that the injunction to give aid is not. This is not to say, of course, that if antecedent actions or agreements are absent, no obligations exist. I point, rather, to a different type of obligation.

The decision as to whether ‘justice’ or ‘aid’ is the appropriate response to suffering, then, seems to turn on whether giver and recipient are connected by some antecedent action or agreement or not. It seems self-evident that, on this reading, ‘aid’ is an entirely appropriate response by the international community to the plight of those affected by the Mozambique floods. There is no relevant ‘action or agreement’ that would take the relationship between giver and recipient into the realm of justice. Or is there?

The floods in Mozambique were unusual in their intensity and devastating in their effects (500,000 people, nearly three percent of the population, were made homeless). There is evidence that some of the flooding was caused by local deforestation that reduced the absorptive capacity of the land upstream, causing vast quantities of water to flood lower-lying areas. But this is also exactly the kind of ‘strange’ weather that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts will accompany global warming (Hulme, 2000). If these floods are indeed in part attributable to global warming, then the relationship (or ‘antecedent action’) between Mozambique and the UK or USA, say, that would make ‘justice’ rather than ‘aid’ an appropriate description of the transfer of money, is in place. In this particular case, the specific category of ‘compensatory justice’ is probably the most applicable. So, while it might be true that, ‘With respect to floods in Bangladesh, for example, affluent populations may sympathise with the victims, but the scale of their suffering is often unimaginable and it is hard to identify closely with them’ (Linklater, 2006), it ought to be also true that if those very same floods are in part a result of the lifestyle of (some) members of those very same affluent societies, then ‘sympathy’ and ‘identification’ are anyway redundant responses. The only adequate response is the recognition of causal responsibility and the doing of justice. Charles Jones is absolutely right to say that, ‘What ought to be given in humanitarian aid to others can be determined only after an assessment has been made concerning what is owed as a requirement of justice. This is because, without that prior assessment, individuals or states could give ‘generously’ thinking they were acting charitably, when their giving actually constitutes merely what justice already demands’ (Jones, 2002, p. 13). My only additional point would be that justice demands much more of us, and more often, than seems currently to be realised.

Of course, this is only a vignette, and it suits my purposes rather well. Remember that I was aiming to resist the cosmopolitan criticism that, while causal responsibility might create thicker ties between people than ‘common humanity’, there is not enough of it around to produce truly cosmopolitan – that is, universal – relations. So, if I mean to say that globalisation produces literally global relations of causal responsibility, I could hardly have chosen a more convenient example than global warming. Its very name suggests a global reach and range; indeed, it is quite possibly the only plausible candidate for a truly global phenomenon in the strict sense that it affects ‘every inch and every hour of the globe’, as Bill McKibben evocatively puts it (McKibben, 1989, p. 46). It is quite something, when we are considering responsibility, to recognise that not one flake of snow in Antarctica is where it would be but for anthropogenic effects on the climate.

Of course, there is some truth in this objection: building connectedness from below is unlikely to produce strict universalism. In terms used earlier in the paper, strengthening motivation by identifying a source of post-national obligation in relations of causal responsibility has been achieved at the cost of reducing the scope of actual obligations at any one time. I would say once again, though, that in principle the scope is universal, even if at any given place and time and in respect of any particular individual, community or corporation, it takes a specific form. I would also say that if globalisation is the territorially, materially and culturally far-reaching phenomenon that it is often claimed to be, then while the relations of (in)justice it creates may not be strictly universal, they are certainly very pervasive indeed. I shall say a little more about this shortly, but it is worth pursuing the environmental question further.

Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

First, global warming is an especially helpful illustration of how thick cosmopolitanism works, and more generally ‘the environment’ has important lessons to teach us about the nature and shape of post-national obligations in a globalising world. When cosmopolitans think about the environment, they usually do so in one or both of two ways. First, as an incubator of cosmopolitan sensibilities on the ‘empathy’ model outlined earlier: ‘global environmental problems have a ... capacity to foster cosmopolitan emotions such as shame when human beings harm other humans and non-humans, and guilt when little or nothing is done to alleviate distant suffering’ (Linklater, 2006). Second, it is often suggested that dealing with global environmental problems invites the kind of transnational institutional response that is sometimes part of cosmopolitan institutional design: ‘advocacy of environmental ethics tends to be either implicitly or explicitly cosmopolitan in character. Many environmental problems are global in scope and require for their solution co-operation between many countries and citizens acting in appropriate ways’ (Dower, 1998, p. 84).

While there may be something in both these points, I believe that the environmental question is at least equally instructive in its capacity to thicken the ties that bind us to ‘strangers’, to bring these strangers ‘nearer’ without having to rely on empathetically constructing them as surrogate neighbours, and to help us to think about the political space of post-national obligation in an alternative – and perhaps more persuasive – way than in terms of the cosmopolis of cosmopolitans. In brief, it has something to say to us about the nature of political space (and, therefore, of political obligation) in a globalising world. To explain how, I need to make a brief excursus into contrasting accounts of the nature of human being.

The ‘embodiedness’ and ‘embeddedness’ of human beings are not exactly notions alien to cosmopolitan theory but nor do they constitute a central feature of its architecture. In terms of the ties that bind, cosmopolitanism regards human beings as primordially thinking creatures, and this is important for two reasons. First, becoming a cosmopolitan is fundamentally an intellectual affair: a matter of engaging with the arguments, and seeing that if you believe that humans beings are all equal in some fundamental respect, it is inconsistent with that belief to be anything other than a cosmopolitan. Second, human beings are blessed with such special capacities for communication that, on some readings, this constitutes the frame for cosmopolitanism's objectives. So, Andrew Linklater explicitly defines his cosmopolitanism in ‘dialogic’ terms and argues that the ‘central aim’ of cosmopolitan citizenship is to ensure that ‘dialogue and consent’ replace force as the means by which disputes are settled in the international arena (Linklater, 1998, p. 23). This leads to a quite specific understanding of justice: ‘A just society is one which “recognises and allows all participants to have a voice, to narrate from their own perspective” ’ (Linklater, 1998, p. 96). This is a conception of justice for thinking beings rather than embodied ones.

In contrast, ecological politics is premised on the belief that human beings are embedded – not so much in the communitarian sense that we derive our norms and beliefs from specific cultural contexts, but in the embodied sense that we are organisms whose production and reproduction depend on the adequate provision of environmental goods and services. This metabolistic relationship with our non-human natural environment constitutes the ineluctable frame within which our political projects are carried out. A key insight of one type of environmental politics – the type that inscribes such politics in the language of justice – is that although we all partake of these environmental goods and services, we do not do so equally. It has become common to think of this in terms of the ‘ecological footprint’, as a way of conceiving both the impact of individuals’ and communities’ social practices on the environment and the unequal nature of that impact. Thus, Mathis Wackernagel writes that, ‘Ecological footprint analysis is an accounting tool that enables us to estimate the resource consumption and waste assimilation requirements of a defined human population or economy in terms of a corresponding productive land area’ (Wackernagel and Rees, 1996, p. 9).

The idea of the ecological footprint enables us to think of the material impact we have on the biotic (including human) and abiotic elements of the environment that lie within – or beneath – it. No one can avoid having an ecological footprint, and so everyone impacts on someone or something, all the time, in virtue of the constant reproduction of their embodiedness. To employ the useful term from postmodernism, we are ‘always already’ affecting other things and other people. Now the relationships that go to make up an individual's ecological footprint amount to links in a chain of ‘causal responsibility’– and causal responsibility, it will be remembered, is what makes ‘nearness’ a more palpable reality than can be produced through reflecting on our common humanity. (This is what distinguishes the realm of argument in this article from the issue of reparation for past wrongs where causal responsibility in the sense outlined here may not be an issue at all.) Moreover, in a globalising world, the chains of causal responsibility that comprise ecological footprints take us well beyond our immediate geographical location: a quick glance at the contents of our supermarket trolleys shows us how far and wide our footprints extend. Thus, ‘the footprint is not usually a continuous piece of land or land of one particular type or quality. The globalisation of trade has increased the likelihood that the bioproductive areas required to support the consumption – of the richer countries at least – are scattered all over the planet’ (Chambers et al., 2000, p. 60).

So, the ontological leitmotif of ecological politics – our embodiedness – gives rise to the idea of the ecological footprint which in turn can be understood as a network of effects that prompts reflection on the nature of the impacts they comprise. Are they beneficial? Are they harmful? The ecological footprint can, therefore, be regarded as a ‘space of potential obligation’.

Social Metabolism

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

It might be objected that these environmental examples are not sufficient ground on which to base a more general account of thick cosmopolitanism. But I believe that this framework for conceiving at-a-distance causal responsibility can be taken beyond the environmental context. Our embodiedness has impacts beyond the environmental. What we might refer to as our ‘social metabolism’ has an environmental dimension, of course, but it also affects the lives, contexts and opportunities of anyone implicated in the production and reproduction of our daily lives. And in a globalising world, and for those of us who ‘globalise’ rather than ‘are globalised’, the obligation space this produces can be very big indeed. For example, Oxfam recently produced a report entitled Trading Away Our Rights, in which the organisation claims that big brand fashion and food retailers – whose services most of us use from time to time –‘use their power at the top of global supply chains ... [to squeeze] ... their suppliers to deliver faster and more cheaply ... The effect is to drive down wages and compromise the welfare of workers’ (The Guardian, 9 February 2004, p. 9). This suggests that anyone who consumes goods from Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R Us, Tommy Hilfiger and Tesco (some of the companies examined in the Oxfam report) is subject to the charge of complicity in transnational harm – the avoidance of which is a key cosmopolitan injunction. The analysis offered in this article suggests that an alternative way of underpinning this injunction – to get us to do cosmopolitanism as well as to believe it – is to lay bare the chains of causal responsibility that bind us to the lives of distant ‘strangers’.

These are hardly radical insights in themselves, but little use seems to have been made of them in debates about the wellsprings of cosmopolitan behaviour. The globalisation of trade converts us ineluctably into participating in the lives of people we have never met and are never likely to meet. We are as complicit in their lives as if they sold us their produce over the garden fence. I do not need to exercise ‘empathy’ to see this, and nor do I need to construct them as surrogate neighbours as Thomas Pogge would seem to wish us to do. The relationships of which I speak are material rather than mental. As we make our way through the world, we ‘produce’ political space, in the sense of space where strict, as opposed to supererogatory, humanitarian, obligations come into play. The ties that bind are not, therefore, best conceived in terms of the thin skein of common humanity, but of chains of cause and effect that prompt obligations of justice rather than sympathy, pity, or beneficence.

Perhaps, this is the appropriate moment to contrast the thick cosmopolitanism developed here with the ‘embedded cosmopolitanism’ of Toni Erskine, to which I referred earlier. There are two points that they have in common. The first is a rejection of the view that ‘the morally constitutive community [is] spatially bounded’ (Erskine, 2002, p. 469). This, of course, is what we have in common with cosmopolitanism of a more typical variety. Second, both thick and embedded cosmopolitanism worry about ‘its [impartialist cosmopolitanism’s] failure to acknowledge the role of the community and social relationships in constituting both selfhood and agency’ (Erskine, 2002, p. 461). We share the view, in contrast with impartialist cosmopolitanism, that ‘moral reasoning is necessarily situated, embedded, and embodied’ (emphasis in the original) (Erskine, 2000, p. 572). Given that this last point of agreement seems to put us in communitarian territory, the key question is: ‘If one challenges the alleged “rootlessness” of an impartialist position, is one doomed to conceding MacIntyre's moral parochialism [for example]?’ (Erskine, 2002, p. 462).

Erskine believes that one is not committed to follow MacIntyre. She argues that morally relevant identities are created not only by ‘communities of place’, but also by membership of non-territorial and overlapping communities of various different types. Her account of just what these communities are is perhaps underdeveloped, but she refers to them as possessing the characteristic of having been ‘created’, rather than simply given – examples might be trade unions, solidarity groups, self-help groups and so on (Erskine, 2000, p. 575). Erskine argues that her embedded cosmopolitanism steers a course between impartialist cosmopolitanism and communitarian realism in that

it does not entail that being a member of any one community requires seeing a non-member of that particular community as being outside the scope of moral concern. The moral agent of an embedded cosmopolitan perspective is neither defined by her membership within the innermost bands of strictly bounded, concentric circles of loyalties, nor in possession of a viewpoint beyond all such spheres. Instead, she is situated at ‘the point where circles intersect’ (Erskine, 2000, p. 567).

Now I would agree that membership of such non-territorial and overlapping communities could be the foundation on which moral recognition of those outside one's own community of place (however defined) might be built. But from one point of view, this is no more than an alternative account of how we might recognise the morally relevant similarity in others beyond our own immediate affective community (alternative, that is, to the ‘membership of common humanity’ account offered by cosmopolitanism). Like the impartialist cosmopolitanism she criticises, Erskine stops at recognition, and there seems to be no connected conclusion one can draw as to the nature of the obligation that follows from it. In contrast, the materialism that informs thick cosmopolitanism simultaneously offers an account of the nature of the ties that bind (recognition, in Erskine's language) and an account of the nature of the obligation that follows: to do justice. Erskine claims to bring situatedness, embeddedness and embodiedness into her account of cosmopolitanism, but she eschews a material understanding of the last two of these three terms. This, I think, prevents her from linking the source and the nature of cosmopolitan obligation in the compelling way I believe thick cosmopolitanism is able to do.

So, it turns out that Charles Beitz was right after all to claim in his seminal 1979 book that, ‘International interdependence involves a complex and substantial pattern of social interaction, which produces benefits and burdens that would not exist if national economies were autarkic’ (Beitz, 1979, p. 149). Beitz did not have the word ‘globalisation’ available to him, and his framework was probably very state-centred for contemporary taste, but he was right to point out the way in which international interdependence produced transnational regimes of material benefits and burdens that demanded a normative response.

Beitz's ‘bottom-up’ approach to building the appropriate normative foundations of cosmopolitanism has been criticised, along the lines I suggested earlier, for not producing the required levels of universalism. Thus, Nigel Dower, for example, says that ‘Beitz's argument [for international justice] relies too heavily on an empirical assumption being met, namely that the world is interdependent economically, that it is a society in the relevant sense parallel to domestic society. This makes the theory of justice applied globally too dependent upon a disputed factual analysis’ (Dower, 1998, p. 89). But it is surely too demanding to ask that total economic interdependence be a prerequisite for relations of justice to come into being. All that is required, as Beitz says, is that we be able to identify benefits and burdens of a type susceptible to treatment in the language of social justice – even if temporary, shifting and obtaining between individuals, corporations and communities rather than between nation-states. In any case, it would be hard to dispute that the world is getting ever more interdependent economically and that, therefore, the conditions for obligation discussed here are continually deepening and widening. This is as much as to say that thick cosmopolitanism is a child of its historical time. Conversely, we could not have expected the Kant of 1795 and his Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, for example, to consider the material ties that bind as a basis for his theory of transnational obligation.

Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, given his general antipathy towards cosmopolitanism, David Miller gets closer to the argument being made here. He writes as follows:

If actions undertaken by members of one state have an increasing impact on the lives of members of another state, and if there is an independently derived set of rights and obligations that apply to those actions, then the empirical change triggers the obligations. For instance, people have an obligation not to damage one another's environment by polluting it. With the development of new forms of power generations new kinds of pollution – acid rain, nuclear fall-out – become possible which were not possible before. So Britons now have concrete obligations to the Scandinavians which are triggered by the fact that westerly winds carry sulphur dioxide from British power stations to Norwegian lakes. But the basis for the obligations was there all along. Perhaps the empirical development makes us more actively aware of our obligation not to damage other people's environments but it does not create it (Miller, 2000, p. 91).

Everything here makes perfect sense – except for the tone of the last sentence. It is not that ‘perhaps’ the empirical developments associated with globalisation ‘make us more actively aware of our obligation’, but that these empirical developments turn the theoretical possibility of transnational obligation (the ‘independently derived set of rights and obligations’) into everyday reality. ‘Does then the process of globalisation make a difference to what needs to be said about world ethics?’ asks Nigel Dower (Dower, 1998, p. 187). Both he and Miller (2000, p. 91) say no, but surely the answer is yes. This is because, by systematically turning Samaritan relations between strangers into relations of justice between individuals and communities tied into material relations of cause and effect, globalisation makes a fundamental difference to how we react to our relations with distant others. We can no longer regard them as we would regard invitations to be charitable; we must regard them as demands founded in justice.

Institutions and Individuals

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

Before I conclude, let me make or two remarks about an issue in the structure of obligation which I did not mention in my summary at the beginning of the article, but which has to be confronted at some stage. This relates to the question of who is obliged to do this or that. Let us assume that the analysis offered here makes something approaching sense, and that globalisation produces at-a-distance relationships that call forth strict obligations of justice. On whom or on what does the obligation to do justice fall? The most popular answer to this question is: institutions, corporations and structures. This ‘organisational’ response is prompted, in part, by the thought that it is institutions, corporations and structures that do the damage. So, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and multifarious multinational corporations are called to account for their underpinning and promoting unjust relations and practices. They are the cause of injustice, it is said, so they should do something about it.

In this vein, Thomas Pogge argues that ‘the citizens and governments of the affluent countries – whether intentionally – are imposing a global institutional order that foreseeably and avoidably reproduces severe and wide-spread poverty. The worse-off are not merely poor and often starving, but are being impoverished and starved under our shared institutional arrangements, which inescapably shape their lives’ (Pogge, 2002, p. 201). Pogge's focus on active complicity is commendable (‘The worse-off are not merely poor and often starving, but are being impoverished and starved under our shared institutional arrangements’) and it squares with the analysis here of international regimes of causal responsibility that call forth responses of justice, but I am less sure about the thoroughgoing focus on ‘institutional arrangements’. Charles Jones's analysis of the obligations of global justice leads him to a similar position to Pogge’s, and to ‘an argument for a duty of individuals to develop individual-duty-fulfilling institutions’ (Jones, 2002, p. 69).

These are reasonable political positions, of course: no one will deny that institutions are important in this context, but an exclusive focus on them could have the effect of undermining the sense of urgency and immediacy that Pogge and Jones are keen to convey. Institutions and their processes may seem too remote for complicit individuals to feel that they can do much about changing their direction, so the call for action quickly degenerates into a set of reasons for inaction. This is ironic indeed given that Jones, at least, makes the turn to institutions precisely because of his view that individuals on their own cannot bring about change: ‘how should individuals respond to a situation in which they, acting alone, are unable to protect right-holders from being deprived of their rights and to provide aid to the deprived? Here, as we have said, there is good reason to require individuals to create collectivities with the relevant capabilities. I will now outline an argument for a duty of individuals to develop individual-duty- fulfilling institutions’ (Jones, 2002, pp. 68–9). Jones reached this conclusion after a long excursus into the ‘ought implies can’ element of obligation. There is no point, he said, in asking someone to fulfil an obligation if they are incapable of carrying it out.

But our earlier analysis of ecological footprints, social metabolism and the creation of spaces of obligation suggests that it is as much a mistake to ignore individuals as exercisers of obligation as it is to avoid grappling with the institutional dimensions of injustice. Something of this is captured in a formulation where Pogge eschews his strictly institutional approach and lets his hair down: ‘We are familiar, through charity appeals, with the assertion that it lies in our hands to save the lives of many or, by doing nothing, to let these people die. We are less familiar with the assertion examined here of a weightier responsibility: that most of us do not merely let people starve but also participate in starving them’ (Pogge, 2002, p. 214).

As embodied creatures in a globalising world, individuals are links in chains of causal responsibility that are mediated by institutions, to be sure, but not in such a way that all justice-orientated action can be or should be only institutional. Perhaps, this is another lesson from the politics of ecology where the metabolistic approach teaches us that political commitment is everyday, and that every action makes a difference. It is certain that the strength of our commitment to do justice varies with our complicity in harm, and it may vary with our capacity to do justice as well. But in general, from the point of view of political ecology, Jones's ‘ought implies can’ directly implicates individuals in doing the very best they can to reduce the size of their ecological footprint where appropriate. Of course, this will require them to engage with institutions, but it will also involve them in much more mundane – and immediately achievable – political objectives.

Conclusion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References

The most common answer to the question ‘why be a cosmopolitan?’ is ‘because we are all members of a common humanity’. This answer is expected to do an enormous amount of work; and, in the end, I believe it collapses under the strain. It is expected to suffice as an answer to the question at the level of principle (why believe in cosmopolitanism?) and at the level of motivation (why do cosmopolitanism?). At the level of principle, the answer is an effective one – so effective, indeed, that even supposedly implacable opponents of cosmopolitanism, such as communitarians, often feel bound to agree with some of its implications such as the normative existence of universal human rights. At the level of motivation, however, the answer runs out of steam: the cerebral recognition that we are all members of a common humanity seems not to be enough to get us to ‘do’ cosmopolitanism. I have analysed this as a problem of ‘nearness’. Cosmopolitanism needs to bring distant strangers near to us in a way that references to common humanity appear not to do. I have suggested that the way to do this is through identifying relationships of causal responsibility. Such relationships trigger stronger senses of obligation than higher-level ethical appeals can do. This brings those related by causal responsibility nearer to one another in a way that might be described as ‘thickly cosmopolitan’. In a globalising world, there is plenty of causal responsibility to get our teeth into; and, therefore, plenty of opportunity to do cosmopolitanism as well as believe in it.

Notes
  • 1

    I am indebted to an anonymous referee for this point. To the extent that I rely on the non-communitarian belief that moral frameworks are translatable, my argument is vulnerable to communitarian objections regarding the culture-bound nature of normative belief. To respond to those objections in detail would require another article.

  • 2

    For more on the understanding of globalisation that informs this article, see Dobson, 2003, chapter 1.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Architecture of Obligation
  4. Cosmopolitanism and Obligation
  5. ‘Thin’ Cosmopolitanism: ‘Common Humanity’ as the Tie that Binds
  6. ‘Thick’ Cosmopolitan Obligation?
  7. Towards Cosmopolitan ‘Nearness’: Less Empathy, More Causal Responsibility
  8. Turning Samaritanism into Justice: The Case of Global Warming
  9. Ecological Footprints and the ‘Production’ of Political Spaces of Obligation
  10. Social Metabolism
  11. Institutions and Individuals
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Author
  14. References
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