Justice and Markets: Charting New Challenges, Globally and Locally

Patrick Leblond and Christine Straehle

Markets are seen internationally, as both, a vehicle for the realization of justice goals, as well as a hurdle for such goals. For instance, many theorists have long argued that the best way to realize redistributive justice in developed societies is by liberalizing trade and the movement of peoples, so that labour demand and labour supply can coalesce. Similarly, many have argued that the best way to assure the realization of socio-economic redistribution is through economic growth, and that such growth is better fostered through market liberalization, rather than state interventions. Simultaneously, however, theorists and activists have countered that liberalization is only to the benefit of a specific, higher echelon of societies, and that those most in need of redistributive justice measures may lose out. The worry is that if labour markets are open to migrants, labour wages will decline and those on the lower income end will suffer, for example. Rather than opening markets to international actors, national governments should regulate immigration and prevent manufacturing industries to relocate to developing countries with lower labour costs. The case of markets in labour, trade and finance raises a number of important questions in the fields of philosophy, public policy and economics. To begin with, any market arrangement raises the purported spectre of injustice towards several members of communities: the poor, unskilled, or unemployed. Many critics have argued that while markets may help domestic economies to grow, the benefits of such growth doesn’t permeate to those most in need of assistance. This workshop will investigate if this analysis indeed captures the real moral controversy of liberalized markets in the local and international context, or whether there are alternative ways of assessing the effects of markets, both open and closed. One such concern is whether or not markets, when analysed from a perspective of local and global justice, can in fact be viewed to serve the same function in both settings. For instance, we may find that while open markets promote the goals of global justice, only closed markets may bring about social justice locally. Assessing markets from the two different perspectives of global and local, then, may yield very different and possible contradicting justice (and ultimately public policy) prescriptions. Analysing markets from a global and local justice perspective can help clarify the moral problems that they may bring with respect to their effects on local populations, national regulatory possibilities and their impact on redistribution globally. This research project aims to yield fruitful cross-disciplinary insights into this important and timely topic.  

 

 World of the Right

Michael C. Williams, Rita Abrahamsen, Alexandra Gheciu and Srdjan Vucetic

The rise of radical conservative political movements is one of the most striking developments in global politics. From Australia to Africa, and from Eastern Europe’s ‘new democracies’ to the Nordic social democracies, variations of autocratic and illiberal discourse have built support and frequently succeeded in transforming the wider political landscape and structure of political debate. These developments mark more than shifts in electoral politics. Above all, they represent a potentially momentous disruption of the liberal international order, whose regimes of human rights norms, free trade, alliance relations, and climate policies are increasingly subject to contestation.

Despite its potentially radical implications for international order, the far Right’s international agenda remains under-examined. Nationalist in nature, the far Right is frequently cast as if it has no foreign policy agenda. The more radical possibility that a transnational Right might seek to install an alternative order — not chaos, but a more structured or institutionalized illiberalism – built around authoritarian and illiberal principles and sharing commitments to a range of autocratic conservative values — remains unexplored.

The World of the Right (WoR) is the first comprehensive research project to address the far Right’s vision and approach to the international order and foreign policy. Funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), it seeks to address this crucial gap in our knowledge about far Right movements and to contribute to informed public debate and policy engagement on issues that are set to become even more vital in coming years. Building a critical mass of expertise, knowledge, and research capacity that will become an international reference point for tracing and understanding the activities of the far Right in questions of foreign policy and international affairs.

The project follows three inter-connected research strategies. First, it connects the fields of identity and foreign policy studies and explores the ideological foundations of contemporary far Right agendas toward international order. Second, it traces the impact of these ideas through deep empirical studies of right-wing parties and movements in key national and multilateral contexts, mapping their specific ideological and rhetorical forms and political impacts. Finally, the project uses social network analysis to examine individual and institutional actors as “nodes” within increasingly transnational alliances and affinities that connect (and divide) diverse Right wing ideologies and movements.

Connecting theoretical development with empirical enquiry, WoR has the threefold objective of providing a comprehensive intellectual and institutional analysis of the international dimensions of radical conservatism; focused analyses of some of its most revealing expressions; and critical examinations of their trajectories and political implications. As such, WoR will contribute to academic knowledge about the dynamics and the future of international order, and inform policy debates and public discourse on these increasingly pressing issues in international politics.