RECON Online Working Paper 2011/35

Download paper

What Do We Owe the Poles (or the Greeks)?

Three Emerging Duties of Transnational Social Justice in the European Union


Ben Crum(VU University Amsterdam)



This paper argues for a conception of social justice that operates beyond the nation-state but does so as an extra layer upon national conceptions of social justice. Thus, in the view transnational duties of social justice are complementary to national conceptions of social justice by, on the one hand, redressing for arbitrary inequalities as they operate in transnational interaction and, on the other hand, reinforcing the capacities of nation-state to maintain their own conception of social justice. The substance of such a transnational conception of social justice is illustrated by identifying three (emerging) transnational duties of social justice that can be read into emerging practices of the European Union: economic non-discrimination, institutional stabilisation, and social policy tolerance. Recognising these practices as expressing a transnational conception of social justice provides some critical insights into the way they have been institutionalised in the EU thus far as well as bringing to light some potential tensions between the three duties involved.



European Integration Global Justice Institutionalisation Non-discrimination Social Europe Social Justice Solidarity Transnationalism



Download the paper



All RECON online working papers