Global Sufficientarianism Reconsidered





Published date: 

June, 2014


Yu-chun Kuo


Faced with the current misery of world poverty, a group of scholarshave recently argued that global distributive justice should aim atimproving the condition of the poor up to a threshold of sufficiency, insteadof eliminating the unequal distribution of goods and resources between thepoor and the rich or giving priority to alleviating the predicament of theworse-off. In this paper, by analyzing the justification of the state system,I develop an account of sufficientarianism that highlights basic needs asthe sufficiency threshold because of their importance to people’s privateand political lives. In addition, I suggest three further standards (empirical necessity, moral justifiability, and urgency) to determine the appropriatelength of the list of basic needs for the practical project of global justice.Compared to other theories of global sufficientarianism, my account notonly provides a more precise method to define the sufficiency threshold,but also proposes a morally significant threshold of sufficiency that can beendorsed by other sufficientarians such as Nussbaum.