The US in Justice. Liberal Criteria for Exclusion and Inclusion

Mario Ivan Juárez


The current debate between national and cosmopolitan liberalism has reached a dead-lock because of the importance they both award to culture in the realm of justice. This paper analyzes both proposals considering only the extent to which they achieve liberal objectives. On the one hand, cosmopolitanism reveals to be illiberal: Sen argues that the only way to warrant plurality is through an external eye in order to avoid dangerous localisms, which cancels cosmopolitanism´s proposal as it is based on a unique metaphysical conception of the human being. On the other hand, national liberalism may occlude justice as fairness if the cultural and essentialist identity that shapes the state creates hurdles for distributing wealth within the national society: albeit nationalism has largely been efficient as the basis for fairness, with the advent of free-trade economy, the nation-state has lost the means to control its peolpe´s future.This paper holds the hypothesis that it is not cultural sympathies that allow voluntary cooperation within the state, but it is the possibility of justice that creates common sympathies within the population. Therefore, beyond any cultural considerations, a liberal state must be defined only by the extent to which it fulfills the ethical, material and spatial requirements of justice as fairness.

Area: Political Theory.

Keywords: Liberalism, Transnational Justice, Nation-State, Cosmopolitanism, Justice as fairness.

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