Leiden Journal of International Law


Cosmopolitism, Global Justice, and International Law


Article author query
pierik r   [Google Scholar] 
werner w   [Google Scholar] 

Along with the exploding attention to globalization, issues of global justice have become central elements in political philosophy. After decades in which debates were dominated by a state-centric paradigm, current debates in political philosophy also address issues of global inequality, global poverty, and the moral foundations of international law. As recent events have demonstrated, these issues also play an important role in the practice of international law. In fields such as peace and security, economic integration, environmental law, and human rights, international lawyers are constantly confronted with questions of global justice and international legitimacy. This special issue contains four papers which address an important element of this emerging debate on cosmopolitan global justice, with much relevance for international law: the principle of sovereign equality, global economic inequality, and environmental law.

(Published Online January 9 2006)

Key Words: cosmopolitism; environmental law; Rawls; sovereign equality; world poverty.


1 Roland Pierik is Assistant Professor of Political Theory, Tilburg University Wouter Werner is Associate Professor of Public International Law, Institute of Public International, Utrecht University. This article and the articles following by Kok-Chor Tan, Thomas Mertens, Thomas Pogge, and Simon Caney were the outcome of a symposium on ‘Cosmopolitism, Global Justice, and International Law’, held in the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (The Hague campus) in April 2005. The symposium was made possible with financial support from the Law Faculty of Leiden University, the Cornelis van Vollenhoven Foundation, and the Grotius Centre.