Theology & Philosophy

Liberty, Property, and International Justice


While everybody agrees poverty is tragic, the obligations of countries that are relatively affluent remains highly controversial. This is particularly true given the documented ineffectiveness of foreign aid. Some authors, however, have argued that there are some institutional alternatives to foreign aid, and that relatively affluent countries are morally obligated to participate in them. The purpose of this conference was to discuss both the soundness of such proposals and their underlying philosophical principles.


Conference Readings

Beitz, Charles. "Rawls's Law of Peoples." Ethics 110 (2000): 669-696.

Carens, Joseph H. “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” Review of Politics 49 (1987): 251-273.

Easterly, William. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.

Pogge, Thomas. World Poverty and Human Rights, 2nd edition. Malden: Polity Press, 2008.

Rawls, John, “The Law of Peoples” In On Human Rights, edited by Stephen Shute and Susan Hurley, 41-82. New York: Basic Books, 1993.

Singer, Peter. "Famine, Affluence, and Morality." Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1972): 229-243.

Walzer, Michael. Spheres of Justice. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

Wenar, Leif. "Property Rights and the Resource Curse." Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (2008): 2-32.

Wenar, Leif, “Poverty Is No Pond: Challenges for the Affluent” In Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy, edited by P. Illingworth, T. Pogge, and L. Wenar, 104-132. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.