Influential political philosopher Thomas Pogge argues for a new global institutional commitment to the swift and complete eradication of severe poverty.
Thomas Pogge is a German
philosopher and currently the Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International
Affairs at Yale University. Previously he was Professorial Fellow at the Centre
for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University,
and Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
Pogge has written extensively on political philosophy,
especially on Rawls, Immanuel Kant, cosmopolitanism, and, more recently,
extreme poverty. His book World Poverty
and Human Rights (Polity, 2002, 2nd edn. 2008) is widely regarded as one of
the most important works on global justice.
What makes Pogge's contribution to the debate on
global justice and the eradication of world poverty original is his emphasis on
negative duties rather than on the positive duties stressed by other prominent
scholars. According to Pogge, the global rich have—quite apart from their
positive duty to help others in need when they can at little cost to
themselves—a stringent negative duty not to contribute to the imposition of a
global institutional order that predictably and avoidably impedes the
fulfillment of basic socioeconomic rights. This negative duty entails
obligations to take decisive steps toward the eradication of global poverty.
Pogge received his Ph.D. from Harvard University with
a dissertation supervised by John Rawls. He is currently working on Incentives
for Global Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing
market-based, systemic solutions to health challenges faced by the world's
poor. IGH aims to increase access to medicines by altering the incentives for
innovation in the health sector.