Making sense of global social justice

Winchester, Nik and Bailey, Nicholas (2010). Making sense of global social justice. In: British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 7-9 Apr 2010, Glasgow Caledonian University.


Global inequality and social justice are central concerns in a social world marked by increasing interconnectedness. Traditional understandings of social justice concern the equitable distribution of goods and burdens within a community of entitlement and are deeply embedded within state bound explanatory frameworks. Hence the raising of justice claims in global or non-state territorial space is seen to be intrinsically problematic. However, it is argued that globalisation has led to the emergence and entrenchment of forms and structures of power and influence that operate beyond and across national boundaries and that are capable of perpetrating inequity and injustice. In response theorists have begun to argue for the need to recognise the demands of social justice in non-state territorial contexts. This paper examines the global seafarer labour market as an example of a multicultural workforce operating in a global context and the raising of justice-claims in a complex global space. Specifically, the paper undertakes to clear the ground for the development of an understanding of social justice in this global space by addressing a series of arguments posed by employers that attempt to re-inscribe justice claims within a national framework

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