In Globalization and Global Justice, Nicole Hassoun advocates a political philosophy that is deeply informed by empirical work and a utopianism that is constrained by considerations of real-world feasibility. As Hassoun acknowledges, these features are unusual for philosophical work, and she is right to think that the global justice literature needs to be more focused on practical questions and better informed by facts about international political economy (15–17). However, it is also a mark of good political philosophy that its arguments succeed and that its analyses move philosophical discussions forward. Unfortunately, Globalization and Global Justice often fails on these points.

In chapter 1, Hassoun argues that we need a new argument for why members of developed societies ought to meet the basic needs of the world's poor. Such an argument would have to withstand the objection that positive duties are indeterminate or that...

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