The nature of international duties of assistance and the moral consequences of global interdependence have become central topics in political philosophy, ethics, and political and legal theories. Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Public Policy address these topics in two high-profile anthologies. One is the present collection of articles on non-interventionist humanitarian assistance; the other concerns assistance in the form of humanitarian military intervention, titled Ethics and Foreign Intervention (eds. Deen K. Chatterjee and Don E. Scheid, 2003).
The present collection draws on nearly all of the leading figures in recent debates on transnational non-interventionist assistance. The issues discussed include the extent to which affluent countries should provide tax-financed aid to the foreign poor or otherwise bear responsibility for remedying poverty-related deprivation, and the question of individuals' personal responsibility to needy, distant strangers (for example, those they could help by giving to international charities). The contributors include established scholars from political philosophy, ethics, and political theory, working in various styles and perspectives in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Utilitarian, Kantian, Rawlsian, and feminist approaches are among their varied starting points. Some emphasize current political controversies, others general questions of how various forms of distance can affect moral duties. All chapters in this volume reflect the latest ideas of their authors. None has appeared elsewhere in the version published here, and nearly all are entirely new.