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Issues in Political Theory

Issues in Political Theory (4th edn)

Catriona McKinnon, Robert Jubb, and Patrick Tomlin
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date: 29 September 2023

p. 19910. Global Povertylocked

p. 19910. Global Povertylocked

  • Zofia Stemplowska


This chapter examines the problem of global poverty. There is widespread extreme global poverty. There is also global affluence, which raises the question of what, if any, duties affluent individuals and institutions of that group have in relation to those in poverty. One of the most powerful arguments in support of the idea that there is a duty to aid that holds between individuals across the globe comes from philosopher Peter Singer. Singer thinks we should accept that we must rescue people at least when doing so does not require us to sacrifice anything of comparable significance. It may be that the only way to eradicate extreme global poverty is through a large-scale institutional change that will involve radically changing domestic, transnational, and international institutions. However, smaller-scale institutional change, such as that achieved through foreign aid, may help.

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