Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights

Oxford University Press
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Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights collects thirteen new essays that analyze how human agency relates to poverty and human rights respectively as well as how agency mediates issues concerning poverty and social and economic human rights. No other collection of philosophical papers focuses on the diverse ways poverty impacts the agency of the poor, the reasons why poverty alleviation schemes should also promote the agency of beneficiaries, and the fitness of the human rights regime to secure both economic development and free agency. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 considers the diverse meanings of poverty both from the standpoint of the poor and from that of the relatively well-off. Part 2 examines morally appropriate responses to poverty on the part of persons who are better-off and powerful institutions. Part 3 identifies economic development strategies that secure the agency of the beneficiaries. Part 4 addresses the constraints poverty imposes on agency in the context of biomedical research, migration for work, and trafficking in persons.
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About the author

Diana Tietjens Meyers is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She has held the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Social Ethics at Loyola University, Chicago and the Laurie Chair in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She works in three main areas of philosophy - philosophy of action, feminist ethics, and human rights theory. She is currently writing a monograph, Victims' Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jul 22, 2014
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780199396900
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / Human Rights
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book explores the philosophical, and in particular ethical, issues concerning the conceptualization, design and implementation of poverty alleviation measures from the local to the global level. It connects these topics with the ongoing debates on social and global justice, and asks what an ethical or normative philosophical perspective can add to the economic, political, and other social science approaches that dominate the main debates on poverty alleviation. Divided into four sections, the volume examines four areas of concern: the relation between human rights and poverty alleviation, the connection between development and poverty alleviation, poverty within affluent countries, and obligations of individuals in regard to global poverty.An impressive collection of essays by an international group of scholars on one of the most fundamental issues of our age. The authors consider crucial aspects of poverty alleviation: the role of human rights; the connection between development aid and the alleviation of poverty; how to think about poverty within affluent countries (particularly in Europe); and individual versus collective obligations to act to reduce poverty.

Judith Lichtenberg
Department of Philosophy
Georgetown University

This collection of essays is most welcome addition to the burgeoning treatments of poverty and inequality. What is most novel about this volume is its sustained and informed attention to the explicitly ethical aspects of poverty and poverty alleviation. What are the ethical merits and demerits of income poverty, multidimensional-capability poverty, and poverty as nonrecognition? How important is poverty alleviation in comparison to environmental protection and cultural preservation? Who or what should be agents responsible for reducing poverty? The editors concede that their volume is not the last word on these matters. But, these essays, eschewing value neutrality and a retreat into technical mastery, challenge us to find fresh and reasonable answers to these urgent questions.

David A. Crocker
School of Public Policy
University of Maryland

SÉVERINE DENEULIN, MATHIAS NEBEL AND NICHOLAS SAGOVSKY TRANSFORMING UNJUST STRUCTURES The Capability Approach THE CAPABILITY APPROACH Structural injustice has traditionally been the concern of two major academic disciplines: economics and philosophy. The dominant model of economics has long been that of neo-classical economics. For neo-classical economists, human we- being is to be assessed by the availability of disposable income or according to goods consumed; it is measured by the levels of utility achieved in the consumption of commodities. Social order is fashioned by the ways consumers maximise their 1 well-being and enterprises maximise their profits. A core assumption is that all 2 commodities are commensurable: they can all be measured according to a single 3 numerical covering value, which is their price. Within this neo-classical paradigm, justice is achieved when the utility level of someone cannot be increased without 4 another person seeing his or her utility level decrease. The dominant paradigm of neo-classical economics was strongly challenged when development and welfare economist Amartya Sen received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998. His work offered an alternative to the neo-classical evaluation of human well-being in the utility/commodity space. The underlining philosophical intuition behind Sen’s work is that the standard of living lies in the living and not in the consumption of commodities. In searching for an alternative measure of human well-being, Sen devised his capability approach.
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