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Grant number like: FA-50527-04

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Richard W. Miller
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY 14850-2820)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 6/30/2004

Patriotic Concern and Global Needs: A Relational Approach to International Economic Justice

I plan to write a book that provides a moral framework for balancing patriotic responsibilities and personal goals, on the one hand, with responsiveness to worldwide needs, on the other. I will begin by distinguishing equal respect for all persons, the source of our moral duties, from impartial concern, a difference illuminated by the moral standing of special relationships such as parental nurturance and friendship. I will show how a limited duty of concern for neediness as such (i.e., apart from special relationships) emerges from the requirement of equal respect, a duty strongly constrained by benefactors' further responsibilities and worthwhile personal goals. In this perspective, relationships of loyalty and governance that unite compatriots are a source of specially demanding political duties of concern, which account for the lesser importance of foreign aid while expressing equal respect for all. Yet there are analogous transnational relationships that generate significant, lesser political duties of aid to the foreign poor, which I will compare in scope and strength with domestic relationships to establish an appropriate balance of patriotic concern with foreign aid. Through further scrutiny of responsibilities generated by personal, political and economic relationships, I will develop further principles for determining the proper role of foreign needs in charitable giving, the requirements of equity in international economic institutions, and implications of democratic values for the resolution of international questions of economic justice. In addition to providing norms and rationales for reconciling patriotic concern with attentiveness to foreign needs, this book will contribute to a central topic in ethics as a whole, the proper scope of impartial concern and the nature of moral impartiality.