A cosmopolitan perspective on the global economic order

Thomas Pogge*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    In a recent book (Pogge, 2002), I have claimed that we-the more advantaged citizens of the affluent countries-are actively responsible for most of the life-threatening poverty in the world. The book focuses on the fifteen years since the end of the Cold War. In this period, billions of people have suffered greatly from poverty-related causes: from hunger and malnutrition, from child labor and trafficking, from lack of access to basic health care and safe drinking water, from lack of shelter, basic sanitation, electricity, and elementary education.1 Some 18 million people have died prematurely each year from poverty-related causes, accounting for fully one third of all human deaths. This fifteen-year death toll of 270 million is considerably larger than the 200-million death toll from all the wars, civil wars, genocides, and other government repression of the entire twentieth century combined.2 Some critics maintain that these problems are peanuts compared to the bad old days when a large majority of humankind was poor.3 In 1820, they tell us, 75 percent of humankind was living below the World Bank’s “$1?day” poverty line, while today this percentage is only 20 percent. (This poverty line is defined in terms of the purchasing power that a monthly income of $32.74 had in the year 1993 [Chen and Ravallion, 2001, p. 285]. In 2004, this line corresponds to the purchasing power of $500 per year in the United States.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511614743
    ISBN (Print)0521609097, 9780521846608
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


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