2004
Volume 111, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

Global justice theorists have long focused on the nature and grounds of duties of the affluent to alleviate the plight of the global poor and to realize justice worldwide. The last few years has seen a flurry of work that shifts perspective to the agency and remedial rights of the global poor. Suppose due assistance is not forthcoming. Could this give the severely deprived a just cause to secure their basic rights by armed force? If so, under which conditions is it all-things-considered morally permissible for them to resort to violence? This article contrasts two possible ways of grounding and conceptualizing remedial rights of armed resistance against economic injustice. Some modern global justice-based accounts endow the global poor with limited rights to wage defensive war to force the affluent to comply with duties of global justice. The old right of necessity conditionally entitles the severely deprived to use armed force to secure access to privately-owned resources and spaces to meet urgent needs. While lethal force will on both accounts be seldom all-things-considered morally permissible in practice, my analysis reveals that the old right of necessity is, for better or worse, a more capacious ground for armed resistance than modern human rights of subsistence, as it sidesteps the issues of indeterminate and underdetermined moral liability.

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2019-03-01
2021-09-20
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