COACCI F. On the Universal Power of Socioeconomic Rights: A Comparison Between Thomas Pogge and Rainer Forst


Fabio Coacci

Postgraduate Student, Department of World Political Processes, Lecturer,

Department of Public Administration, School of Governance and Politics, MGIMO University MFA Russia,

Prosp. Vernadskogo, 76, 111395 Moscow, Russian Federation;

Postgraduate Student and Assistant Lecturer,

Department of Political Science, Communication and International Relations, University of Macerata,

Via Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni, 30/32 Macerata, Italy, 62100

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Abstract. Introduction. This article investigates the universal power of socioeconomic rights assessing their theoretical conceptualization and practical implication.

Methods. Taking theoretical and empirical research into account – at the level of public ethics and political theory – the article carries out a comparative analysis of the elements of global economic justice theory, moral universalism and institutional understanding of human rights of Thomas Pogge and the critical theory of political and social justice and the moral constructivist conception of human rights of Rainer Forst.

Analysis. On the one hand, Pogge’s cosmopolitan approach underlines serious noncompliance of socioeconomic rights at the global level because of the unjust distribution of rights and duties enforced by the current global institutional order. In this vein, the protection of socioeconomic rights is conceived as a (moral) negative duty not to deprive people of secure access to a basic human rights object, and socioeconomic rights, by imposing upon them unjust coercive social institutions. On the other hand, Forst’s perspective maintains that each right needs to be constructed on the very basic moral right to reciprocal and general justification which is conceived as the most universal and basic claim of every human being.

Results. Drawing on the above-mentioned outlooks on socioeconomic rights, the universal power of socioeconomic rights is assessed in light of the satisfaction of universal basic needs, whose object is also the object of socioeconomic rights – a ‘conditio sine qua non’ for a worthwhile life – and the justification of the assigned duties at the global level.

Key words: socioeconomic rights, civil and political rights, duties, global justice, universalism, cosmopolitanism, constructivism.

Citation. Coacci F. On the Universal Power of Socioeconomic Rights: A Comparison Between Thomas Pogge and Rainer Forst. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 45-57. DOI:

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On the Universal Power of Socioeconomic Rights: A Comparison Between Thomas Pogge and Rainer Forst by Coacci F. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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