The sheer gaul of them

by Maria on May 31, 2005

Why I’m a little irritated with France:
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Talking Turkey over welfare

by Henry Farrell on May 31, 2005

Reading some of the responses to “Chris’s”: and “my”: posts on Turkey and the future evolution of the European Union, reminds me of Tyler Cowen’s “aside”: a couple of weeks ago, that:

bq. The modern liberal vice is to think that everyone can be taken care of, and/or to rule out foreigners from the relevant moral universe.

The latter bit is the relevant one here, of course, and it’s a tough question for European leftwingers. Is some dilution of the traditional European welfare state acceptable, if it substantially increases the wellbeing of current outsiders (i.e. for example, by bringing Turkey into the club). My answer is yes, if European leftwingers are to stick to their core principles on justice, fairness, egalitarianism etc. Of course, this is a somewhat broader variant of the more general theoretical questions surrounding the relationship between nationality and cosmopolitanism. So far, I haven’t seen any very convincing counter-arguments that suggest that lefties should privilege fellow-Europeans or fellow nationals over those from elsewhere. Below the fold, I set out some of the arguments that I’ve seen or can think of, but that don’t seem to me to be convincing. Others may disagree – or have other, better arguments that I haven’t thought of.

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