Distribution of income and wealth is increasingly determined by rules negotiated on a supranational level. These are established by the governments of the most powerful states - influenced to a much higher degree by lobby groups supporting the rich rather than defending the interests of the poor. Due to the latest developments in the field of globalisation the share poorer people have in the global household income dropped to less than three percent; billions of people continue to live in extreme poverty. Who is responsible for this supranational network of rules and its foreseeable consequences? Surely the governments that took part in the negotiations - but also the lobbyists exerting influence on the same. What about the plain citizens? What kind of responsibility do they bear regarding the outcome of what their governments negotiate on their behalf?
Thomas Pogge is Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University and research director at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo. He is editor of the section of social and political philosophy of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences. His latest books are: Weltarmut und Menschenrechte (de Gruyter 2011), Politics as Usual (Cambridge UP 2010), John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice (Oxford UP 2007) and, as an editor, Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy (Oxford UP 2011) and Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right (Oxford UP 2007).
Together with an international research team, Pogge is at present working at structurally improving access to new medicine by developing a new financial instrument for pharmaceutical research.
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