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Global Justice from Below Workshop

Arts building rooms G13 and G14
Friday 21 September 2018 (09:30-18:00)

Events Organiser of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics:


During this workshop, we will discuss the book on Global Justice from Below: The Ethics & Politics of Poor-Centered Poverty Reduction (forthcoming, Oxford University Press) Monique Deveaux (University of Guelph) is currently completing.

Please note that this workshop is invitation-only.

Book abstract:

Since the publication of Peter Singer’s classic (1972) essay on famine, philosophers have asked whether the governments, institutions, and citizens of affluent states have moral duties towards the global poor; if so, what grounds them; what form they take; and how responsible agents might be motivated to take them up. These obligation-centred discussions of poverty, and the mainly redistributive remedies they advance, too often treat people living in poverty as mere recipients of justice. Yet if severe needs deprivation in the global South is bound up with the subordination and exploitation of poor populations, then grassroots, poor-led organizing and social movements may be vital to alleviating chronic poverty. Monique’s book draws on research in critical poverty, post-colonial, and social movement studies to make the case that the agency of organized poor communities is central to the development of a more transformative approach to poverty alleviation (and global justice more generally). In so doing, she challenges dominant consequentialist and deontological ethical framings of the problem of severe inequality and deprivation, showing how these lack a sufficiently relational and political understanding of poverty — and overlook the significance of poor struggles in hastening more pro-poor- and poor-led policies and reforms. Monique suggests that theorists could help to advance such remedies by delineating solidarity-based political responsibilities for individuals and institutions with the capacity to actively support and assist progressive, poor-led social movements.

More on Monique Deveaux:

Monique Deveaux holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics & Global Social Change at the University of Guelph, Canada, where she is also Professor of Philosophy. Although now housed in a philosophy department, her training was in politics and she taught for many years in a political science department; her writing thus readily incorporates social science research to better understand the causes of severe and chronic poverty, and the dynamics of grassroots social movements. She is the author of two books: Gender and Justice in Multicultural Liberal States (Oxford University Press, 2006, winner of the 2008 C.B. Macpherson Prize for Best Book in Political Theory from the Canadian Political Science Association); and Cultural Pluralism and Dilemmas of Justice (Cornell University Press, 2000). She is also a co-editor of four volumes: Exploitation: From Practice to Theory (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017); Social and Political Philosophy: Texts and Cases (Oxford University Press, 2014); Reading Onora O’Neill (Routledge 2013); and Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice: Critical Perspective in Political Theory and Practice (2007).

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