Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor?
Collected here in one volume are fifteen cutting-edge essays by leading academics which together clarify and defend the claim that freedom from poverty is a human right with corresponding binding obligations on the more affluent to practice effective poverty avoidance. The nature of human rights and their corresponding duties is examined, as is the theoretical standing of the social, economic and cultural rights. The authors largely agree in concluding that there is a human right to be free from poverty and that this right is massively violated by the present world economy which creates huge unfair imbalances in income and wealth among and within countries. This searing indictment of the status quo is all the more powerful as the authors endorsing it exemplify diverse philosophical methods and moral traditions and also highlight different aspects of poverty and global institutional arrangements. This volume will be of great interest and value to academics working in the fields of philosophy, political science and international relations, as well as to undergraduate and graduate students in these disciplines. It will also be a crucial aid and challenge to practitioners in international governmental organizations (such as the UN and its agencies) and NGOs who think of their work in human-rights terms. Indeed, in view of the magnitude of the human rights deficit at issue, any moral citizen has reason to engage with the arguments of this book. And the book makes this possible for most in that, throughout, even the most complex aspects of rights theory is discussed in clear, direct language, making the text accessible to specialists and lay readers alike.