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Social justice in the European Union: Four views

Lecture by Philippe Van Parijs.

At least four very different conceptions underlie common claims about what is and what is not required for justice to prevail at the level of the European Union:

1. Cooperative justice between nation states pursuing their respective interests
2. Solidarity between nation states forming a community
3. Distributive justice between the citizens of an incipient nation state
4. Global distributive justice as gradually realized at a supranational yet subglobal level.

With published correspondence on this subject between Philippe Van Parijs and John Rawls as a stating point, Van Parijs discussed these four views and defended one in particular as the most appropriate.


Philippe Van Parijs, Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, University of Louvain, Belgium


Claus Offe, Professor of Political Sociology, Hertie School