Structural Injustice and Solidarity. The Case of the Eurozone Crisis
Erik O. Eriksen
This paper deals with the type of duties structural injustice triggers with reference to the Euro-crisis. Structural injustice confronts us with the normative puzzle of injustices that benefit some and no one in particular is liable to pay damages. The paper discusses the problem of unjust enrichment and difficulties of compensatory obligations in the so-called wrongful-benefits paradigm. The problem with this paradigm, also when it involves disgorgement, is that it individualises responsibility and conceives of it in quantitative, financial terms. The paper argues that the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the Euro-crisis have created expectations of collective responsibility. Solidarity has become a duty. Solidarity is the building block of every democratic community. It expresses a norm of equal membership that constitutes the basis for claims-making. The type of structural injustice generated by the Eurozone arrangement gives rise to collective, forward-directed duties – to correct wrongs akin to political justice. Forward-directed duties apply to interdependent actors and their ways of coping with contingencies and conflicts.