Moral cosmopolitanism has often been criticised for being too demanding and not offering a viable solution to the problem of extreme global poverty. Thomas Pogge has responded to both these concerns by arguing that it is possible to eradicate most global poverty through relatively light international-level actions. Pogge's proposals can be divided into two broad categories: financial transfers to the poor and international institutional reforms (which include changing the rules of global trade and restricting the ability of undemocratic governments to borrow internationally or sell off their country's natural resources). However, Pogge's proposed international-level actions are unlikely to eradicate global poverty as he has underestimated the tenacity of poverty-causing local practices. More specifically, this article will question the workability of Pogge's plans against the backdrop of sub-Saharan Africa. Confronted with a gap between what Pogge's proposed international-level reforms are able to accomplish and what they aim to accomplish, the final part of the paper considers Pogge's three options (or some combination of them): one, settle for a more modest reduction of global poverty; two, expect greater endeavour from the poor and their governments; or (and) three, demand a deeper involvement and sacrifice from citizens of well-off countries.
cosmopolitanism, global poverty, Thomas Pogge, Africa, poor, international level action
Political Science | Social Welfare
Taylor and Francis
JORDAAN, Eduard.(2010). Questioning Thomas Pogge's proposals to eradicate global poverty. Global Society, 24(2), 231-253.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1140
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.