The Feasible Alternative Thesis: Kicking away the Livelihood of the Global Poor

Christian Barry, Esben Overland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Many assert that affluent countries have contributed in the past to poverty in developing countries through wars of aggression and conquest, colonialism and its legacies, the imposition of puppet leaders, and support for brutal dictators and venal elites. Thomas Pogge has recently argued that there is an additional and, arguably, even more consequential way in which the affluent continue to contribute to poverty in the developing world. He argues that when people cooperate in instituting and upholding institutional arrangements that foreseeably result in more severe or more widespread poverty or human rights deficits than would foreseeably result under feasible alternative arrangements, they are contributors to these harms. Because of this, he argues, they have stringent, contribution-based (or negative) duties to address this poverty. We will call this the 'Feasible Alternatives Thesis' (FAT), and our aim in this article is to examine it critically.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-119
    Number of pages23
    JournalPolitics, Philosophy and Economics
    Volume11
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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