1st Edition

Global Justice and Recognition Theory Dignifying the World’s Poor

By Monica Mookherjee Copyright 2023

    In the light of intense international focus on ongoing forms of world poverty, this book examines the potential of the concept of recognition in contemporary political philosophy to respond morally to this dire condition.

    This book uses recognition theories to develop a two-tiered response to the problem of global poverty. First, it highlights non-degradation, non-humiliation and the avoidance of social suffering as essential components to the agency of the very poor. This runs counter to liberal arguments that focus only on the deficit of basic material interests. Second, even if universal conditions of agency are met, many of the world’s extreme poor may still suffer domination. The book argues that empowering the world’s poor to resist domination is an essential response to global poverty. By conceiving poverty in terms of agency and empowerment, this book highlights the transnational relevance of recognition theory to one of the most crucial problems affecting a rapidly globalising world.

    Global Justice and Recognition Theory will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in social and political philosophy, political theory, and global justice.

    Introduction. From Social Suffering to Dignity for the World’s Poor: Towards Global Justice through Cosmopolitan Recognition Theory

    1. Conceptualising the Moral and Political Wrongs of Global Poverty: From Global Redistribution to a Cosmopolitan Theory of Recognition

    2. Cosmopolitanism and Distant Others: Reification and the Forgetfulness of Global Poverty in Recent Recognition Theory

    3. Defining the First Tier of a Recognition-Based Response to Global Poverty: Social Suffering, Survivalist Agency and Humanitarian Concern for the World’s Poor

    4. Empowering against Global Poverty Across the Spheres: Durable Empowerment from Social Imaginaries to Recognition Struggles

    5. Regarding the Suffering of Others:  Rancière on Recognition, Disagreement and Empowering Forms of Power

    Conclusion: Dignifying the World’s Poor: Cosmopolitan Justice, Recognition Theory and Beyond


    Monica Mookherjee is a Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy at Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. She has previously published in the fields of contemporary political philosophy, especially in the fields of recognition theory, feminist philosophy and multiculturalism. She is the author of Women’s Rights as Multicultural Claims (2009).