About the Program on Global Justice
Intellectually rooted in moral and political philosophy, the Program on Global Justice (PGJ) bridges the normative, empirical, and policy dimensions of the Center's concerns for democracy, equitable development, and the rule of law. The program links philosophical work on justice, fairness, democracy, and legitimacy with empirical research and reflective practice on issues of human rights, global governance, and access to basic resources. Thus it also has natural points of interaction with the CDDRL programs on Human Rights, on Liberation Technology, and on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy, as well as with the Stanford Center on Ethics in Society.
By bringing together Stanford faculty and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines, as well as external academics and practitioners, the Program on Global Justice seeks to explore normative aspects of emerging global politics-the largest ethical issues of our time. As cooperation grows to address global problems such as infectious diseases, poverty, and climate change, and as stronger global institutions emerge, we need to ensure that those institutions are accountable, representative, and fair in their operation. Addressing these deeply practical problems requires the skills of civil engineers and scientists, doctors and teachers, entrepreneurs and lawyers. But solutions need to be just as well as efficient. The program will provide an institutional focus for exploring the demands of justice in a global setting.
Currently the program is involved in three major projects. One project, Just Supply Chains, examines issues of labor standards in global supply chains. Just Supply Chains focused on developing innovative solutions to the challenge of improving labor standards in the global economy. The normative aim is to clarify ideas about a fair global economy: about what levels of compensation, work hours, working conditions, are reasonable in different conditions. The empirical aim is to evaluate alternative strategies and experiments for achieving global fairness. How well do codes of conduct or reformed national regulations or various kinds of trade rules or ethical consumption practices, either separately or in conjunction, succeed in promoting a just global economy? The practical aim is to build a community of scholars and practitioners (from companies, unions, and NGOs) who will meet regularly to exchange ideas, define topics that are researchable and worth researching, and collaborate on promoting new practices.
A second project, jointly with the new Human Rights Program, examines "The Courts, Politics, and Human Rights." The central aim of the project is to evaluate the importance of courts, as distinct from more openly political venues-social movements, legislatures, and administrative agencies-as ways of protecting human rights.
A third project, jointly with the Program on Liberation Technology, is to assess the efficacy of new information technologies in addressing issues of economic, social, and political development.
Program Leader: Professor of Law, Political Science and Philosophy Joshua Cohen.