Debts, Poverty and Justice


  • Cristian Dimitriu Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina



In this article, I make the idea that poverty outcomes are not necessarily morally relevant for assessing policies as clear as possible by discussing a specific case within the global justice debate: sovereign debts. The claim I would like to defend is that generating poverty among the population of a poor state as a result of a loan is independent from the fact that such debt is morally binding. People might become poorer as a result of a loan, and the loan might still be binding; and people might not be negatively affected as a result of a loan, and the loan might be non-binding. It is of course often the case that there is something wrong with lending that generates massive poverty. However, in my view, the fact that lending and poverty exist parallel to each other is not what makes a loan binding or non-binding. Thus, it is misguided to measure poverty as a way of testing the bindingness of a debt. I will proceed as follows. First, I will explain in some detail Pogge’s view about lending and justice, as he is the main defender of the outcome-view that I am trying to refute. Second, I will show two possible worries about Pogge’s view. I will call the first one the “agnosticism objection” and the second one the “normative limitation objection”. Third, I will briefly describe my own account of the conditions under which lending would count as non-binding. This account does not necessarily rely on outcomes.

Biografia do Autor

Cristian Dimitriu, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina


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