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Collected here are fifteen cutting-edge essays by leading academics about the severe poverty that today afflicts billions of human lives. The essays seek to explain why freedom from poverty is a human right and what duties this right creates in the affluent. Addressing even the most complex aspects of human rights in clear language, these essays are accessible to specialists and lay readers alike.
The authors agree that there is a human right to be free from poverty. They further agree that this right is massively violated by the present world economy which creates huge unfair imbalances in income and wealth among and within countries. Their searing indictment of the status quo is all the more powerful as the authors exemplify diverse philosophical methods and moral traditions, and study different aspects of poverty and of its global institutional causes.
This volume derives from a UNESCO Philosophy Programme organized in response to the first of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000: 'to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.' It is of great interest to academics and students in philosophy, political science, law and international relations. It is a crucial aid and challenge also to policy-makers in governmental, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organizations who think of their work in human rights terms. Indeed, in view of the magnitude of the human rights deficit here under discussion, every citizen of conscience has reason to engage with the arguments in this book.
List of Contributors xi
Introduction Thomas Pogge 1
1 Severe Poverty as a Human Rights Violation Thomas Pogge 11
2 Poverty as a Violation of Human Rights: Inhumanity or Injustice? Tom Campbell 55
3 The Moral Reality of Human Rights John Tasioulas 75
4 Inequality and Poverty in Global Perspective Alvaro de Vita 103
5 Poverty as a Form of Oppression Marc Fleurbaey 133
6 Neglected Injustice: Poverty as a Violation of Social Autonomy Regina Kreide 155
7 The Duties Imposed by the Human Right to Basic Necessities Elizabeth Ashford 183
8 Duties to Fulfill the Human Rights of the Poor Alan Gewirth 219
9 Extreme Poverty in a Wealthy World: What Justice Demands Today Marcelo Alegre 237
10 Responsibility and Severe Poverty Leif Wenar 255
11 Global Poverty and Human Rights: The Case for Positive Duties Simon Caney 275
12 The Right to Basic Resources Stephane Chauvier 303
13 Poverty Eradication and Human Rights Arjun Sengupta 323
14 Enforcing Economic and Social Human Rights Osvaldo Guariglia 345
15 The Right of Resistance in Situations of Severe Deprivation Roberto Gargarella 359