James Quinlan (2014) The Case of Nationality and the Duty to Assist – Do we have greater obligations of justice to co-nationals?

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal


This article challenges the belief that shared nationality is a reason to offer greater support to one individual over another. It draws upon a range of social science research, ranging from philosophy, to psychology and social anthropology, to analyse why nationality could be seen to bind people together and to argue that, in fact, it should not. It contends that a duty of assistance applies no more to our fellow citizens than to those overseas. It challenges the importance of nationality in an increasingly globalised world, and argues that, in the end, rather than there being a greater moral duty to help fellow countrymen, we are more likely to help them over foreigners because we can see the results more easily and thus receive a boost to our egos more readily.

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