•  507
    Benefiting from Wrongdoing and Sustaining Wrongful Harm
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (5): 530-552. 2016.
    Some moral theorists argue that innocent beneficiaries of wrongdoing may have special remedial duties to address the hardships suffered by the victims of the wrongdoing. These arguments generally aim to simply motivate the idea that being a beneficiary can provide an independent ground for charging agents with remedial duties to the victims of wrongdoing. Consequently, they have neglected contexts in which it is implausible to charge beneficiaries with remedial duties to the victims of wrongdoin…Read more
  •  4
    Reconsidering a Human Right to Democracy
    Journal of Global Ethics 16 (3): 305-315. 2020.
    In this brief article, I will raise some challenges to each of Pablo Gilabert’s arguments for a human right to democracy (HRD). First, I will question whether the instrumental case for affirming a HRD is as strong as Gilabert and others have suggested. I will then call into question the argument from moral risk, arguing that, for any particular country, we should not operate with a strong presumption that they should pursue further democratization as a high-priority goal. Finally, I will conside…Read more
  • Immigration and Global Justice
    Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 4. 2014.
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  •  2
    Suppose you perform two actions. The first imposes a risk of harm that, on its own, would be excessive; but the second reduces the risk of harm by a corresponding amount. By pairing the two actions together to form a set of actions that is risk-neutral, can you thereby make your overall course of conduct permissible? This question is theoretically interesting, because the answer is apparently: sometimes Yes, sometimes No. It is also practically important, because it bears on the moral status of …Read more
  •  398
    Justifying Lockdown
    with Seth Lazar
    Ethics and International Affairs 2020. 2020.
    Our aim in this brief essay is not to defend a particular policy or attitude toward lockdown measures in the United States or elsewhere, but to consider the scope and limits of different types of arguments that can be offered for them. Understanding the complexity of these issues will, we hope, go some way to helping us understand each other and our attitudes toward state responses to the pandemic.
  •  4
    Moral Uncertainty and the Criminal Law
    In Larry Alexander & Kimberly Kessler Ferzan (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law, Springer Verlag. pp. 445-467. 2019.
    In this chapter we introduce the nascent literature on Moral Uncertainty Theory and explore its application to the criminal law. Moral Uncertainty Theory seeks to address the question of what we ought to do when we are uncertain about what to do because we are torn between rival moral theories. For instance, we may have some credence in one theory that tells us to do A but also in another that tells us to do B. We examine how we might decide whether or not to criminalize some conduct when we are…Read more
  •  17
    Recently, Gerhard Øverland and Alec Walen have developed novel and interesting theories of nonconsequentialism. Unlike other nonconsequentialist theories such as the Doctrine of Double Effect, each of their theories denies that an agent’s mental states are relevant for determining how stringent their moral reasons are against harming others. Instead, Øverland and Walen seek to distinguish morally between instances of harming in terms of the circumstances of the people who will be harmed, rather …Read more
  • Book Review (review)
    Ethics and International Affairs 16 (1). 2002.
  •  192
    On Satisfying Duties to Assist
    In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues, Oxford University Press. 2019.
    In this paper, we take up the question of whether there comes a point at which one is no longer morally obliged to do further good, even at very low cost to oneself. More specifically, they ask: under precisely what conditions is it plausible to say that that “point” has been reached? A crude account might focus only on, say, the amount of good the agent has already done, but a moment’s reflection shows that this is indeed too crude. We develop and defend a nuanced account according to which con…Read more
  •  283
    Moral Uncertainty and the Criminal Law
    In Kimberly Ferzan & Larry Alexander (eds.), Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law, Palgrave. 2019.
    In this paper we introduce the nascent literature on Moral Uncertainty Theory and explore its application to the criminal law. Moral Uncertainty Theory seeks to address the question of what we ought to do when we are uncertain about what to do because we are torn between rival moral theories. For instance, we may have some credence in one theory that tells us to do A but also in another that tells us to do B. We examine how we might decide whether or not to criminalize some conduct when we are u…Read more
  •  26
    Harm, responsibility, and enforceability
    Ethics and Global Politics 12 (1): 76-97. 2019.
  •  74
  •  8
    Health and Global Justice
    with Mira Johri and Christian Barry
    Ethics and International Affairs 16 (2): 33-34. 2002.
    In a recent global survey commissioned for the Millennium Summit of the United Nations, people around the world consistently mentioned good health as what they most desired
  •  28
    The Bounds of Justice, Onora O'Neill , 226 pp., $54.95 cloth, $19.95 paper (review)
    Ethics and International Affairs 15 (1): 197-200. 2001.
  •  18
    Boundaries and Allegiances, Samuel Scheffler , 221 pp., $29.95 cloth (review)
    Ethics and International Affairs 16 (1): 167-172. 2002.
  •  285
    International Political Theory Meets International Public Policy
    In Chris Brown & Robyn Eckersley (eds.), Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory, Oxford University Press. pp. 480-494. 2018.
    How should International Political Theory (IPT) relate to public policy? Should theorists aspire for their work to be policy- relevant and, if so, in what sense? When can we legitimately criticize a theory for failing to be relevant to practice? To develop a response to these questions, I will consider two issues: (1) the extent to which international political theorists should be concerned that the norms they articulate are precise enough to entail clear practical advice under different empiric…Read more
  •  252
    Material Contribution, Responsibility, and Liability
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (6): 637-650. 2018.
    In her inventive and tightly argued book Defensive Killing, Helen Frowe defends the view that bystanders—those who do not pose threats to others—cannot be liable to being harmed in self-defence or in defence of others. On her account, harming bystanders always infringes their rights against being harmed, since they have not acted in any way to forfeit them. According to Frowe, harming bystanders can be justified only when it constitutes a lesser evil. In this brief essay, I make the case that so…Read more
  •  273
    Who owns it? Three arguments for land claims in Latin America
    with Gerhard Øverland
    Revista de Ciencia Politica 37 (3): 713-736. 2017.
    Indigenous and non-indigenous communities in Latin America make land claims and support them with a variety of arguments. Some, such as Zapatistas and the Mapuche, have appealed to the “ancestral” or “historical” connections between specific communities and the land. Other groups, such as MST in Brazil, have appealed to the extremely unequal distribution of the land and the effects of this on the poor; the land in this case is seen mainly as a means for securing a decent standard of living for m…Read more
  • Fairness in Sovereign Debt
    with Lydia Tomitova
    Social Research: An International Quarterly 73 649-694. 2006.
    When can we say that a debt crisis has been resolved fairly? An often overlooked but very important effect of financial crises and the debts that often engender them is that they can lead the crisis countries to increased dependence on international institutions and the policy conditionality they require in return for their continued support, limiting their capabilities and those of their citizens to exercise meaningful control over their policies and institutions. These outcomes have been viewe…Read more
  •  208
    Can Withdrawing Citizenship be Justified?
    Political Studies 64 1055-1070. 2016.
    When can or should citizenship be granted to prospective members of states? When can or should states withdraw citizenship from their existing members? In recent decades, political philosophers have paid considerable attention to the first question, but have generally neglected the second. There are of course good practical reasons for prioritizing the question of when citizenship should be granted—many individuals have a strong interest in acquiring citizenship in particular political communiti…Read more
  •  319
    On the Rights of Temporary Migrants
    The Journal of Legal Studies 47 (S1). 2018.
    Temporary workers stand to gain from temporary migration programs, which can also benefit sender and recipient states. Some critics of temporary migration programs, however, argue that failing to extend citizenship rights or a secure pathway to permanent residency to such migrants places them in an unacceptable position of domination with respect to other members of society. We shall argue that access to permanent residency and citizenship rights should not be regarded as a condition for the mor…Read more
  •  626
    A Challenge to the Reigning Theory of the Just War
    International Affairs 87 (2): 457-466. 2011.
    Troubled times often gives rise to great art that reflects those troubles. So too with political theory. The greatest work of twentieth century political theory, John Rawls's A theory of justice, was inspired in various respects by extreme social and economic inequality, racialized slavery and racial segregation in the United States. Arguably the most influential work of political theory since Rawls—Michael Walzer's Just and unjust wars—a sustained and historically informed reflection on the mor…Read more
  •  77
    Fairness in Sovereign Debt
    with Lydia Tomitova
    Ethics and International Affairs 21 (s1): 41-79. 2007.
    When can we say that a debt crisis has been resolved fairly? An often overlooked but very important effect of financial crises and the debts that often engender them is that they can lead the crisis countries to increased dependence on international institutions and the policy conditionality they require in return for their continued support, limiting their capabilities and those of their citizens to exercise meaningful control over their policies and institutions. These outcomes have been viewe…Read more
  •  792
    Are trade subsidies and tariffs killing the global poor?
    with Gerhard Øverland
    Social Research: An International Quarterly (4): 865-896. 2012.
    In recent years it has often been claimed that policies such as subsidies paid to domestic producers by affluent countries and tariffs on goods produced by foreign producers in poorer countries violate important moral requirements because they do severe harm to poor people, even kill them. Such claims involve an empirical aspect—such policies are on balance very bad for the global poor—and a philosophical aspect—that the causal influence of these policies can fairly be characterized as doing sev…Read more
  •  74
    Sovereign Debt, Human Rights, and Policy Conditionality
    Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (3): 282-305. 2011.
    International policies often make the conferral of aid, debt relief, or additional trading opportunities to a country depend upon its having successfully implemented specific policies, achieved certain social or economic outcomes, or demonstrated a commitment to conducting itself in specified ways. Such policies are conditionality arrangements. My aim in this article is to explore whether conditionality arrangements that would make the conferral of debt relief depend on whether the debtor countr…Read more