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Unfreedom for AllHow the World's Injustices Harm You$
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Thomas J. Donahue

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190051686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190051686.001.0001

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Global Poverty’s Harm

Global Poverty’s Harm

Entanglement in Crises

(p.211) 8 Global Poverty’s Harm
Unfreedom for All

Thomas J. Donahue-Ochoa

Oxford University Press

What is the severest harm suffered by the global poor? Against theories saying that it is social exclusion, corrosive disadvantage, or humiliating personal failure, chapter 8 argues that the harm is that such poverty entangles the poor in a web of crises. The poor are caught up in a spider’s web of agonizing decisions and moral dilemmas, brought on by their poverty. Day in and day out, they face these crises. If they make good decisions, it is probable that their only reward is to continue in their deprived state. If they make poor decisions, then disaster will likely strike. And they know that the next day will bring more crises, and the next yet more. It is this, along with knowing that there are many others in the world who are not so entangled, because they are not poor, that is the severest harm of the injustice of global poverty. The chapter then shows how that injustice suppresses everyone’s potential resistance to it, and thus makes all unfree.

Keywords:   consequences of poverty, social exclusion, corrosive disadvantage, human capabilities, capabilities approach, absolute poverty, relative poverty, resistance to poverty, humiliating poverty, poverty crises

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