The Global Ethics of Helping and Harming

Human Rights Quarterly 36 (4) (2014)
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This article addresses two issues. First, it critiques a prominent position regarding how affluent states should balance their national interest on the one hand and their duty to aid developing states on the other. Second, it suggests that absent a principled way to balance national interest with international aid, a state’s more immediate concern is to comply with its negative duty to not harm other states. To support this position, the article constructs a conception of harm that may be applied to questions regarding a state’s negative duties, focusing upon the example of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS).
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