Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 May 2021
Chapter 2 develops the theoretical framework of the book and the conceptual categories that will be used. Onora O’Neill’s classic account of ‘agents of justice’ is incomplete, failing to acknowledge the obstacles that agents of justice meet when trying to apply abstract theories and principles of justice to the real world. The agents involved in this essential moral task can be conceptualized as formative agents of global justice. Formative agency is best channelled through democratic deliberation. Debates in the philosophy of practical reason already emphasize the need for moral deliberation to render moral principles action-guiding. There, moral deliberation is conceived as an internal, solitary activity taking place in each person’s head. We argue that external, collective deliberative processes are better able to support this moral activity. The chapter also introduces a distinction between different agents of justice (formative agents of justice, global justice entrepreneurs, and effectors of global justice) and discusses the roles that they play in global governance.