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World Poverty and Human Rights, 2nd Edition
Some 2.5 billion human beings live in severe poverty, deprived of such essentials as adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, basic sanitation, adequate shelter, literacy, and basic health care. One third of all human deaths are from poverty-related causes: 18 million annually, including over 10 million children under five.

However huge in human terms, the world poverty problem is tiny economically. Just 1 percent of the national incomes of the high-income countries would suffice to end severe poverty worldwide. Yet, these countries, unwilling to bear an opportunity cost of this magnitude, continue to impose a grievously unjust global institutional order that foreseeably and avoidably perpetuates the catastrophe. Most citizens of affluent countries believe that we are doing nothing wrong.

Thomas Pogge seeks to explain how this belief is sustained. He analyses how our moral and economic theorizing and our global economic order have adapted to make us appear disconnected from massive poverty abroad. Dispelling the illusion, he also offers a modest, widely sharable standard of global economic justice and makes detailed, realistic proposals toward fulfilling it.

Thoroughly updated, the second edition of this classic book incorporates responses to critics and a new chapter introducing Pogge's current work on pharmaceutical patent reform.
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  • March 2008 (hb)
    February 2008 (pb)
  • 304 pages
  • 160 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $83.25
  • 9780745641430
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Table of Contents

I Some Cautions About Our Moral Judgements.

II Four Easy Reasons to Ignore World Poverty.

III Sophisticated Defenses of our acquiescence in world poverty.

IV Does Our New Global Economic Order Really Not Harm the Poor?.

V Responsibilities and Reforms.

Chapter 1: Human Flourishing and Universal Justice.

1. 0 Introduction.

1. 1 Social Justice.

1. 2 Paternalism.

1. 3 Justice in First Approximation.

1. 4 Essential Refinements.

1. 5 Human Rights.

1. 6 Specification of Human Rights and Responsibilities for their Realization.

1. 7 Conclusion.

Chapter 2: How Should Human Rights be Conceived?.

2. 0 Introduction.

2. 1 From Natural Law to Rights.

2. 2 From Natural Rights to Human Rights.

2. 3 Official Disrespect.

2. 4 The Libertarian Critique of Social and Economic Rights.

2. 5 The Critique of Social and Economic Rights as 'Manifesto Rights'.

2. 6 Disputes about Kinds of Human Rights.

Chapter 3: Loopholes in Moralities.

3. 0 Introduction.

3. 1 Types of Incentives.

3. 2 Loopholes.

3. 3 Social Arrangements.

3. 4 Case 1: The Converted Apartment Building.

3. 5 Case 2: The Homelands Policy of White South Africa.

3. 6 An Objection.

3. 7 Strengthening.

3. 8 Fictional Histories.

3. 9 Puzzles of Equivalence.

3. 10 Conclusion.

Chapter 4: Moral Universalism and Global Economic Justice.

4. 0 Introduction.

4. 1 Moral Universalism.

4. 2 Our Moral Assessment of National and Global Economic Orders.

4. 3 Some Factual Background about the Global Economic Order.

4. 3. 1 The Extent of World Poverty.

4. 3. 2 The Extent of Global Inequality.

4. 3. 3 Trends in World Poverty and Inequality.

4. 4 Conceptions of National and Global Economic Justice Contrasted.

4. 5 Moral Universalism and David Miller’s Contextualism.

4. 6 Contextualist Moral Universalism and John Rawls’s Moral Conception.

4. 7 Rationalizing Divergent Moral Conceptions Through a Double Standard.

4. 8 Rationalizing Divergent Moral Conceptions Without a Double Standard.

4. 9 The Causal Role of Global Institutions in the Persistence of Severe Poverty.

4. 10 Conclusion.

Chapter 5: The Bounds of Nationalism.

5. 0 Introduction.

5. 1 Common Nationalism – Priority for the Interests of Compatriots.

5. 2 Lofty Nationalism – The Justice-for-Compatriots Priority.

5. 3 Explanatory Nationalism – The Deep Significance of National Borders.

5. 4 Conclusion.

Chapter 6: Achieving Democracy.

6. 0 Introduction.

6. 1 The Structure of the Problem Faced by Fledgling Democracies.

6. 2 Reducing the Expected Rewards of Coups d'Etat.

6. 3 Undermining the Borrowing Privilege of Authoritarian Predators.

6. 3. 1 The Criterial Problem.

6. 3. 2 The Tit-For-Tat Problem.

6. 3. 3 The Establishment Problem.

6. 3. 4 Synthesis.

6. 4 Undermining the Resource Privilege of Authoritarian Predators.

6. 5 Conclusion.

Chapter 7: Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty.

7. 0 Introduction.

7. 1 Institutional Cosmopolitanism Based on Human Rights.

7. 2 The Idea of State Sovereignty.

7. 3 Some Main Reasons for a Vertical Dispersal of Sovereignty.

7. 3. 1 Peace and Security.

7. 3. 2 Reducing Oppression.

7. 3. 3 Global Economic Justice.

7. 3. 4 Ecology/Democracy.

7. 4 The Shaping and Reshaping of Political Units.

7. 5 Conclusion.

Chapter 8: Eradicating Systemic Poverty: Brief for a Global Resources Dividend.

8. 0 Introduction.

8. 1 Radical Inequality and Our Responsibility.

8. 2 Three Grounds of Injustice.

8. 2. 1 The Effects of Shared Social Institutions.

8. 2. 2 Uncompensated Exclusion from the Use of Natural Resources.

8. 2. 3 The Effects of a Common and Violent History.

8. 3 A Moderate Proposal.

8. 4 The Moral Argument for the Proposed Reform.

8. 5 Is the Reform Proposal Realistic?.

8. 6 Conclusion.

Chapter 9: Pharmaceutical Innovation: Must We Exclude the Poor? .

9.0 Introduction.

9.1 The TRIPS Agreement and its aftermath.

9.2 The argument from beneficial consequences.

9.3 Toward a better way of stimulating research and development of essential medicines.

9.4 Differential pricing.

9.5 The public-good strategy for extending access to essential medicines.

9.6 A full-pull plan for the provision of pharmaceuticals.

9.7 Specifying and implementing the basic full-pull idea.

9.8 Justifying the plan to affluent citizens and their representatives.

Last Words.




About the Author
Thomas Pogge is Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University, Professorial Fellow in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University, Research Director in the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo, and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Professional Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire.
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"One of the most intellectually rigorous and empirically well-informed works of political philosophy yet written on world poverty. (A) brilliant work."
James Grant, Australian Journal of Political Science

"A triumph of cosmopolitan argumentation for a global system of justice. This book has been, and will remain, a standard for all students of poverty and human rights."
Human Rights Review

"If only everyone living in affluent nations were to read World Poverty and Human Rights! Pogge's combination of rigorous moral argument and judicious use of the relevant facts compels us to acknowledge that the existing global economic order is ethically indefensible. A wonderful book that could do an immense amount of good."
Peter Singer

"One of the very best books known to me on global inequality, the most important moral problem facing the world today. Pogge shows convincingly how we, and the institutions we support, can best try to make the present world order less unjust. These proposals combine, in a remarkable way, moral depth, clear thinking, inventiveness, and practical good sense."
Derek Parfit, All Souls College, Oxford

"Pogge's gift is to recognize as imaginary the boundaries between economics and ethics. A striking example is the historically derived and currently dysfunctional way we apply patents for medicines. With simplicity and clarity, Pogge offers an analysis without villains, a remedy without losers and a practical path to fundamental reform."
Carl Nathan, Cornell University

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