The Lockean Proviso and Ecological Refugee States

Cara Nine

in Global Justice and Territory

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580217
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741456 | DOI:
The Lockean Proviso and Ecological Refugee States

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After eschewing existing cosmopolitan arguments regarding territory and resource rights in previous chapters, This chapter details an account of territorial rights that is sensitive to the needs of individuals worldwide by adapting a version of the Lockean proviso for use with territorial rights. The Lockean proviso is a mechanism that maintains consistency between principle and practice in the case of systems of exclusive rights over goods. This mechanism is triggered to change particular rights (A’s exclusive right to a territory) when those particular rights threaten the values (to provide for individual basic needs through the self-determination of groups) that justify the system of rights as a whole. Because the system of territorial states is a system of exclusive rights over goods, especially land and resources, it is subject to the conditions of a Lockean proviso mechanism. An application of these arguments yields the following result: ecological refugee states may be candidates as sovereign over a new territory after their existing territorial lands have been lost to the rising sea.

Keywords: ecological migrants; Lockean proviso; historical rights; basic needs; self-determination; territorial rights; sinking islands; Tuvalu

Chapter.  8966 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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