Compatriot Partiality and Cosmopolitan Justice
This paper demonstrates a way in which compatriot partiality could be conducive to the realization of cosmopolitan demands of distributive justice. Cosmopolitans who argue that compatriot partiality is like racial partiality captures something correct about the structure of compatriot partiality. However, I shall argue that the analogy should not lead us to comprehensively reject compatriot partiality. A closer examination of the development of slavery contains a justification for some compatriot partiality. We can justify compatriot partiality on the same grounds that black liberation movements and affirmative action have been justified. Hence, given cosmopolitan demands of justice, compatriot partiality is justified if the people it identifies are members of the global poor. This justification is, however, incomplete because it justifies partiality towards oppressed groups per se. We need to further address the issue of how Person A, qua national of Country A, is justified in helping her compatriots in Country A over oppressed non-compatriots in Country B. I shall argue that Person A’s partiality towards her compatriots admits further vindication because such partiality is part of an oppressed group’s project of economic self-emancipation. Finally, I point out three benefits in my justification for compatriot partiality. First, my justification does not universally justify compatriot partiality. Given that compatriot partiality is like racial partiality, it is important to emphasize that compatriot partiality is not the right universal moral code for how we should live together. The justified partiality for and between members of oppressed groups is only a temporary measure designed to level an unlevel playing field. Second, justifying compatriot partiality on the grounds that I have identified facilitates the creation of a collective entity, which is conducive to the development of a democracy. Third, my account complies with the cosmopolitan commitment to the realizability of global justice theories.