Gwilym David Blunt
Gwilym David Blunt
Political Theory and International Relations
 

Publications

 
 

Books

 
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Each year millions of people die from poverty-related causes. The depth of this tragedy is only matched by the indifference of the wealthy. The only people who will end this injustice are its victims.

The right to resistance is a fundamental human right, without it the idea of human rights is meaningless. Global poverty is comparable to a crime against humanity and just as resistance to slavery and Nazism was justified, so is resistance to global poverty.

The right of resistance is used to reframe urgent political questions: is illegal immigration a form of resistance? Can transnational social movements, such as the indigenous rights movement, provide the foundations for civil resistance to global poverty? If peaceful resistance fails, is armed struggle justified? Do people living in affluent states have a responsibility to help even if it requires them to break the law?

Forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2020

 

Articles

 
 
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Illegal Immigration as Resistance

This article asks how cosmopolitans should assess the actions of illegal immigrants. It argues that immigrants who suffer from severe poverty do, indeed, have a right to enter Global North, even if they are not legally permitted to do so. This argument is not derived from a right to freedom of movement that other cosmopolitans have advocated. Instead, this is an instance of people enacting their right to resistance by escaping to the North; it is comparable to fugitive slaves in the Antebellum United States. Both cases are examples of infrapolitical resistance by severely dominated agents.

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Is There a Human Right to Resistance?

This article is premised on the idea that global poverty is the foreseeable and avoidable by-product of the international system. This position is held by many cosmopolitans, but rarely do they deal with the consequences of this claim. This paper will examine the idea of a right to resistance in the face of global poverty. It will argue that a right to resistance is a necessary component of the political conception of human rights. It will also be argued that it is latent in some major documents and declarations to the point that it can be considered an emerging practice.

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Is Global Poverty a Crime Against Humanity?

Pogge has repeatedly compared the causes of global poverty with historical crimes against humanity. This claim, however, has been treated as mere rhetoric. This article argues that there are good reasons to take it seriously. It does this by comparing Pogge’s thesis on the causes of global poverty with the baseline definition of crimes against humanity found in international law, especially the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It argues that the causes of global poverty are comparable with the crimes of slavery and apartheid. This has important consequences for cosmopolitan thought, as it makes the need for practical solutions to global poverty more urgent and raises questions about the global poor’s right to resist the international system by violent means.

 
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JUSTICE IN ASSISTANCE: A CRITIQUE OF THE SINGER SOLUTION

This article begins with an examination of Peter Singer's ‘solution’ to global poverty as a way to develop a theory of ‘justice in assistance.’ It argues that Singer's work, while compelling, does not seriously engage with the institutions necessary to relieve global poverty. In order to realise our obligations it is necessary to employ secondary agents, such as non-governmental organisations, that produce complex social relationships with the global poor. We should be concerned that the affluent and their secondary agents are complicit with unjust institutions or can be the source of injustice. What is needed is a theory of justice in assistance. This is a distinct area of justice theory because these agents are not primary agents, like states, but they often provide the basic social goods that we associate with primary agents. The article ends by putting forward a provisional conception of justice in assistance based on the republican idea of non-domination

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ON THE SOURCE, SITE AND MODE OF DOMINATION

This article seeks to examine how domination manifests in social relationships and institutions. It does this by examining two debates in republican literature. The first of which is whether domination requires institutionalisation? This addresses the source of domination. The second debate is on the nature of arbitrary power. This raises questions about the site of domination. It will be argued that the source of domination can be personally or socially constituted and that the site can be interactional or systemic. This yields four modes of domination that can be used to examine social institutions and relationships.

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TRANSNATIONAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND THE RIGHT OF RESISTANCE

This article assesses Thomas Pogge's recent argument that it is sometimes justifiable to harm innocent persons in light of his claims about the causes of global poverty. It argues that if Pogge's two theses are correct then a third thesis follows: that those immiserated by the international system can legitimately resist the institutions responsible for the systemic violations of human rights, even at the cost of grievously harming innocent persons. This article does not assess the validity of Pogge's theses, but draws attention to a neglected topic in the debate on transnational economic justice: the right of resistance

 

Reviews

 
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Freedom without Violence: Resisting the Western Political Tradition

by Dustin Ells Howes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016

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Radicals, REvolutionaries and Terrorists

by Colin J Beck. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015.

 
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Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership

by Sarah Fine and Lea Ypi (eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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Blame it on the WTO? A Human Rights Critique

by Sarah Joseph. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

 
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THEORIZING POWER

by Jonathan Hearn. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

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POLITICS AS USUAL: WHAT LIES BEHIND PRO-POOR RHETORIC

by Thomas Pogge. Cambridge: Polity, 2010