n Africanus - Global poverty and global tax fairness as economic justice : a Southern take on transnational institutionalism - research

Volume 48 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0304-615X



Global poverty (GP) is currently, a fundamental, burning issue. Factually, GP has traditionally generated much discussions and prompted social scientists to conduct research. Interestingly, political/moral philosophers have also joined them—perhaps they were motivated by the thought-provoking Peter Singer’s work. Theorising on the magnitude of the problem, the thinkers have contended that GP is ultimately a moral issue, and have situated it within the fold of global economic justice. After much theorising to this effect, some Northern philosophers/thinkers have now concluded that the global rich actually have a duty of justice to address GP. A practical strategy for ensuring global tax fairness to this end is the global tax fairness proposal (GTFP). Briefly, these philosophers claim that: (i) some given good, service, or mode of activity (mode of life) should be taxed, and the proceeds used to cater for the global poor, and that (ii) fairness should underpin this taxation so that the tax burden is rich-inclined, rather than poor-inclined. Unfortunately, extant realities have shown that the burden of taxation is cleverly dodged by the rich, spurring philosophic works from the Northern perspective on a reversal. This present exercise aligns with this conclusion, from a Southern perspective, and has three objectives, which are to: (i) critically examine some conceptual/theoretical and practical issues involved in GTFP, (ii) propose a transnational institutionalist agency that would address the issues from a Southern perspective, and (iii) formulate a response to some likely concerns about the Southern proposal. As a normative research in development ethics/political philosophy, coupled with the institutionalist thesis as the theoretical framework, this study has adopted methods of critical analysis and reflective argumentation.

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