Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
Published by the Global Justice Network, the peer-reviewed e-journal, Global Justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric (TPR) focuses “on global justice broadly, as encompassing topics such as world poverty, inequality, health, economic exploitation, democracy, trade, labour, human rights, humanitarian intervention, migration, and climate change (the list is not exhaustive).” The Global Justice Network is an organization of academics working together since 2006 to facilitate discussion, debate and information exchange about global justice, which the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) describes as separate from international justice. “In international justice the nation or state is taken as the central entity of concern and justice among nations or states is the focus. In the domain of global justice, by contrast, theorists do not seek primarily to define justice between states or nations. Rather they drill down through the state shell and inquire about what justice among human beings consists in. Global justice inquiries take individual human beings as of primary concern and seek to give an account of what fairness among such agents involves.” Recently, TPR began publishing twice a year with a special thematic issue or in a symposium format. Each issue contains four or five articles along with reviews. The symposium-based issue content covers a symposium on a specific topic along with stand-alone articles. Past issues have concentrated on topics such as Climate Justice and Women’s Bodies and Global Poverty Eradication.
The latest issue of TPR pushes the boundaries of global justice with the theme of Global Justice, Radical Perspectives. In “Beyond Anthropocentrism: Cosmopolitanism and Nonhuman Animals,” one of the five articles in the latest issue, the discussion of justice for individuals includes awareness of the rights of all “sentient animals” The author states “I do not want to rehearse the debate between animal rights theorists and their opponents here. However, it is important to note that attempts to protect the status of humans as the only beings who are morally entitled to certain forms of protection and treatment have been subject to extensive criticism.” The article questions the expectation of the rights of humans prevail over that of other living creatures.
Further exploration of this theme continues in “Revisiting the Common Ownership of the Earth: A Democratic Critique of Global Distributive Justice Theories” where the author examines the theories of global distributive justice based on “the assumption that all humans hold common ownership of the earth. As the earth is finite and our actions interconnect, we need a system of justice that regulates the potential appropriation of the common earth to ensure fairness.” But the author also observes, “The natural facts of our existence on the earth cannot be avoided . . . the common ownership condition and the arbitrary configuration for resources across the planet are natural characteristics that are outside the realm of justice.” There are no easy answers--the articles examine many aspects of global justice, but emphasize --as in the stated goal of the Global Justice Network-- to identify “the political challenges that reach beyond states, affect the lives and wellbeing of a significant part of the world’s population, and raise serious moral concerns and grievances which require international action and policy making.”
In these, and other peer-reviewed articles, TPR emphasizes careful consideration of the issues from the concepts of justice and fairness, while at the same time reminding the reader of the harsh truth from George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” There are no easy answers here. Articles are double peer-reviewed and editors make their publication decision based on the recommendations of the reviewers. In addition to the intense, thought-provoking articles, each issue of TPR contains reviews for recently-published books, such as Between Samaritans and States: The Political Ethics of Humanitarian INGOs and Governing Failure: Provisional Expertise and the Transformation of Global Development Finance.
The Global Justice Network also organizes international workshops. Their News & Events webpage announces call for papers for the journal and other relevant publications and conferences. TPR is supported by a development grant of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation), and all of the content published in the journal “is transferred to the German National Library (DNB) for the purpose of long-term archiving.” The journal uses the Open Journal System (OJS) platform for open access publishing from the PKP, Public Knowledge Project and follows the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access; “users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles. Users also have the right to crawl the texts for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”
Recommended for academic and large public libraries which should link to Global justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric (TPR) in their discovery systems.