Some 2.5 billion human beings live in severe poverty, deprived of such essentials as adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, basic sanitation, adequate shelter, literacy, and basic health care. One third of all human deaths are from poverty-related causes: 18 million annually, including over 10 million children under five. However huge in human terms, the world poverty problem is tiny economically. Just 1 percent of the national incomes of the high-income countries would suffice to end severe poverty worldwide. Yet, these countries, unwilling to bear an opportunity cost of this magnitude, continue to impose a grievously unjust global institutional order that foreseeably and avoidably perpetuates the catastrophe. Most citizens of affluent countries believe that we are doing nothing wrong. Thomas Pogge seeks to explain how this belief is sustained. He analyses how our moral and economic theorizing and our global economic order have adapted to make us appear disconnected from massive poverty abroad. Dispelling the illusion, he also offers a modest, widely sharable standard of global economic justice and makes detailed, realistic proposals toward fulfilling it. Thoroughly updated, the second edition of this classic book incorporates responses to critics and a new chapter introducing Pogge's current work on pharmaceutical patent reform.
One of the most intellectually rigorous and empirically well-informed works of political philosophy yet written on world poverty. (A) brilliant work. James Grant, Australian Journal of Political Science If only everyone living in affluent nations were to read World Poverty and Human Rights! Pogge's combination of rigorous moral argument and judicious use of the relevant facts compels us to acknowledge that the existing global economic order is ethically indefensible. A wonderful book that could do an immense amount of good. Peter Singer One of the very best books known to me on global inequality, the most important moral problem facing the world today. Pogge shows convincingly how we, and the institutions we support, can best try to make the present world order less unjust. These proposals combine, in a remarkable way, moral depth, clear thinking, inventiveness, and practical good sense. Derek Parfit, All Souls College, Oxford Pogge's gift is to recognize as imaginary the boundaries between economics and ethics. A striking example is the historically derived and currently dysfunctional way we apply patents for medicines. With simplicity and clarity, Pogge offers an analysis without villains, a remedy without losers and a practical path to fundamental reform. Carl Nathan, Cornell University