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Global distributive justice and the corporate duty to aid

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This article challenges an argument from Tom Donaldson's recent bookThe Ethics of International Business with a claim that distributive justice, deemed in many circles to impose a duty of mutual aid on individuals and nations, establishes a basis for holding multinational corporations to such a duty as well. The root idea I advocate is that Rawls' theory of justice can be deployed — beyond its original intent yet in line with its spirit — to underwrite aprima facie obligation of international business to render aid to ameliorate suffering on behalf of the inhabitants of developing countries in which they operate.

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Kevin T. Jackson is Assistant Professor of Ethics in the Department of Legal and Ethical Studies at the Graduate School of Business, Fordham University in New York City. He holds a J.D. degree and a Ph.D. degree in Philosophy. Formerly a Legal Aid attorney, Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, and a business consultant, Dr. Jackson currently teaches courses in business ethics and legal philosophy.

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Jackson, K.T. Global distributive justice and the corporate duty to aid. J Bus Ethics 12, 547–551 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00872378

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  • Economic Growth
  • International Business
  • Distributive Justice
  • Multinational Corporation
  • Original Intent