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Can We Justify the Welfare State in an Age of Globalization?: Toward Complex Borders

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On the one hand, we have a moral principle that we should treat persons equally. We have a moral principle of universality. On the other hand, we have an moral intuition that we have special obligations to our compatriots. We have a moral intuition of particularity. How can we reach equilibrium between universality and particularity? To put it another way, the welfare state assists the national poor. How can we justify favoring our nationals over foreigners? Can we justify the welfare state in an age of globalization? We have two approaches to defend the welfare state. The first approach, the relationship theory, starts from the intuition of particularity; the second approach, the assigned responsibility model, starts from the principle of universality. The refinement of the second approach leads us to a new conception of the world order: complex borders. Personal national boundaries are not simple any longer. Complex borders have been developed to work out the best solutions to various global problems. Globalization urges us to live in an age of complex borders.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, edited by authorisation of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), is an international, peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1907. It features original articles on philosophical research on legal and social questions, covering all aspects of social and legal life.
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