AuthorKolers, Avery Harman
AdvisorBuchanan, Allen E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCurrently available political theories all fail to explain the nature or justification of territorial claims. My dissertation fills these gaps. In chapter one I distinguish between property and territory, explaining the inapplicability of property theories to territorial claims. Chapter two raises a challenge to egalitarian and cosmopolitan theories of global justice. The central claim of the chapter is that local democracy is an essential part of global justice, but that cosmopolitan theories cannot give due weight to local democracy. In addition, cosmopolitan theories are not entitled to the conception of equality or distributive justice to which they appeal; their failure in this respect is due to their failure to consider the distribution of land, which scuttles comparability and, with it cosmopolitan distribution principles. In contrast, there is good reason to think that a turn toward effective localized governance would promote democracy and the quality of life of all people. Chapters three, four, and five constitute the core of the dissertation. Chapter three isolates the particular sort of claim I hope to elucidate: prima facie primary rights to territory. Chapter three also defines what I call the "problem of relevance": the problem of finding political principles that could even speak to the issue of connecting peoples to places. Such principles are not forthcoming from mainstream political philosophy. Chapter four solves this problem with a geographically influenced conception of cultures. Chapter five defends the value of cultures so conceived, by arguing that stable cultural membership is an important component of individual freedom, and so merits protection and promotion through political and economic institutions. Finally, chapter six aims to situate the theory of prima facie primary rights to territory within the context of an "internationalist" theory of global justice. Such a theory takes from cosmopolitan theories a sophistication about global institutions and their effects on distributive schemes and power relations. But the theory also takes from culture-based theories an appreciation for the value of communal life and local, grassroots control of the institutions under which we live.
Degree ProgramGraduate College