President's Dream Colloquium on Justice Beyond National Boundaries: "Do Fellow Citizens Have Special Obligations to One Another?"

Dr. Kit Wellman,
Chair and Professor, Philosophy,
Washington University in St. Louis

Thursday, January 17, 3:30 pm

Lecture Abstract
It is commonly thought that compatriots have special responsibilities of distributive justice to one another. More specifically, while justice requires that we respond to absolute poverty wherever it occurs, many believe that relative poverty creates duties of justice only (or at least
especially) when it occurs among fellow citizens.
In this paper, I survey the most prominent arguments in defense of this standard claim. After
suggesting that there are good grounds for retaining this view, I argue that they cannot justify anything like the status quo. Finally, I consider the implications of these theoretical reflections for the more concrete issue of contemporary immigration policy.

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