The Right of Necessity
Moral Cosmopolitanism and Global Poverty
Rowman and Littlefield 2016
We are accustomed to the thought that individuals facing dire circumstances may rightfully take use of others’ property in order to save their own lives. For example, one thinks it obvious that in order to avoid freezing to death, a lost mountain hiker may rightfully break into and make use of a heated cabin that is not his property. But what justifies this idea? And what are its implications for a world where millions are subjected to sustained and systematic depravation? In The Right of Necessity: Moral Cosmopolitanism and Global Poverty (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) Alejandra Mancilla defends the idea that under the current global order, those who are subject to such systematic depravation have a right to take, use, seize, and occupy what is needed in order to satisfy requirements for basic subsistence.