By Julian Culp

Rising powers like India and Brazil have recently been gaining considerable economic and political power. This has led to the emergence of a nascent multipolarity in global affairs. Theorists of global distributive justice, however, continue to focus almost exclusively on the responsibility of the established powers for combating global poverty and neglect whether there is a similar responsibility of rising powers. That focus neglects that great shifts have occurred in the distribution of the economically severely poor over the past three decades. According to recent work by Andy Sumner, 74% of those who live in extreme economic poverty resided in middle-income countries in 2008. This paper explores this lacuna and shows that there are several grounds for attributing a similar responsibility to rising powers. These grounds are familiar from discussions of the established powers’ responsibility for global distributive injustice in the writings of John Rawls, Peter Singer and Thomas Pogge. They are the capacity to stop, the contribution to and the benefits from global distributive injustices.



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