The feasibility of global poverty eradication in nonideal circumstances

Pablo Gilabert

in From Global Poverty to Global Equality

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639717
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739033 | DOI:
The feasibility of global poverty eradication in nonideal circumstances

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This chapter addresses the feasibility challenge against conceptions of global justice as it applies to the fulfillment of basic socioeconomic human rights. Section 4.1 introduces the challenge. Section 4.2 provides an analysis of the concept or feasibility. It identifies different types, domains, and degrees of feasibility, and explains how feasibility interacts with moral desirability in the justification of obligations. Section 4.3 accounts for the role of feasibility and desirability in the design, critique, and revision of conceptions of justice, domestic and global. Section 4.4 identifies two broad strategies of response to feasibility obstacles, one focused on levels of generality and the other on temporal variation. The notion of “dynamic duties” to expand feasible sets of political action is introduced. Section 4.5 identifies two important feasibility obstacles to the pursuit of basic global justice, which concern nonideal circumstances of lack of robust international institutions and a strong ethos of cosmopolitan solidarity. Section 4.6 responds by deploying the idea of dynamic duties within a transitional standpoint; it explores mechanisms of political empowerment such as institutional experimentation, protest, and public deliberation.

Keywords: feasibility; ideal and nonideal theory; dimensions of a conception of justice; dynamic duties; transitional standpoint; John Rawls; James Nickel; Amartya Sen; feasibility condition for human rights; political empowerment

Chapter.  22873 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Theory

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