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Unformatted text preview: 2005 by Blackwell Publishing, Inc. Philosophy & Public Affairs 33 , no. 4 I. I ntroduction A More than 20 percent of the world population lives in abject poverty, on less than $ 1 per day, and about 50 percent on less than $ 2 . 1 Twenty-five percent is illiterate. The two-and-a-half billion people in low-income countries have an infant mortality rate of over one hundred for every thousand live births, compared to six in high-income countries. Accord- ing to widely circulating statistics, the ratio between rich and poor has increased dramatically: in 1820 , the ratio in average per capita incomes was three to one, in 1960 sixty to one, and in 1997 seventy-four to one. The contrast between lavishly rich North Americans whose urgent ques- tions of the day are about where to go for dinner and when to meet ones How Does the Global Order Harm the Poor? MATHIAS RISSE Thanks to Eric Cavallero, Derya Hona, Michael Ignatieff, Margaret Jenkins, Simon Keller, Hlne Landemore, Jennifer Pitts, Thomas Pogge, Christopher Robichaud, Dennis Thompson, Leif Wenar, Kenneth Winston, and especially the Editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs for comments or discussion, and to Ricardo Hausmann, Lant Pritchett and Dani Rodrik for conversations about development. Thanks to the members of the Faculty Fellows seminar at the Center for Ethics and the Professions at Harvard University, the Montreal political theory colloquium, the participants in the Kline conference on Equal- ity, Poverty, and Global Justice at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and audiences at the University of Konstanz (especially to Gerald Schneider, who was a commentator on one occasion), where I presented parts of this material. This article is related to both Risse, What We Owe to the Global Poor, Journal of Ethics 9 ( 2005 ): 81 117 ; and Risse, Do We Owe the Global Poor Assistance or Rectification? Ethics and International Affairs 19 ( 2005 ): 9 18 . The former develops an account of what is owed to the poor based on the Institutional Thesis introduced in Section II below. The latter argues that the global order should plau- sibly be credited with advances over the historically normal situation of misery. Together, these three pieces offer answers to normative questions about the global order that oppose Thomas Pogges views in World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Blackwell, 2002 ). 1 . These data are documented in Section IV. personal trainer, and cotton farmers in Mali with barely enough to survive could hardly be starker, and becomes depressing if we recall that U.S. cotton subsidies exacerbate their plight. Such facts are especially alarming since our world is politically and economically interconnected, a continuous global society based on local territorial sovereignty, whose fate is shaped not merely by states, but also by transnational and transgovernmental networks, structures aptly called the global political and economic order . Since there is such an....
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