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On the Ethics of Global Development - Measuring Political Human Rights through Questioning "Good Governance"

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Johannes Waldmüller

on 14 April 2010

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Transcript of On the Ethics of Global Development - Measuring Political Human Rights through Questioning "Good Governance"

Development Ethics? Typically adress the following issues:

What is "good/successfull" or "bad" development (Examples?)
Is the concept "development" useful, or should we use "progress", "growth", "liberation", "modernization", etc.
What fundamental economic, political, and cultural goals and strategies should a society pursue on the basis of which principles/commitments?
What moral issues emerge in development policymaking and practice? (eg. Should citizen decision-making in dev. projects be permitted, encouraged, required?)
How to distribute the harms and benefits of development? What is distributive justice?
Who bears responsibility for bringing about development? Govs, nations, markets? -->

International duties vs. Intranational duties (Pogge 2001)

What should be counted as the virtues and vices of various development agents?
What are the most serious local, national, and international impediments to and opportunities for good development?
How should the promise and risks of globalization be assessed from a moral point of view? (Thesis-Philosophy)

How should we understand development responsibilities?
E.g. is the (negative) duty "do not harm" enough or should
citizens and dev. agents also consider positive duties? Where are the limits of individual, national, international responsibility (to aid - or to "not do harm")? Who should decide these questions and by what methods? What are the roles of appeal to authority, philosophical reflection, constitutional constraints, public deliberation... Finally:
How should development ethicists assess and improve their methods and in relation to what standards? Standards?
Duties? Complex global interdependencies, such as:
multicultural or even multinational citizenships,
cosmopolitan impoverishment or recently developed "cosmo-elites"
environmentally displaced peoples
migrants and refugees
socially and politically excluded polities (indigenous people)
or provisory phenomena

need seperate consideration according to each layer (local, regional, national, global,...) Example:
Partial actors in a market situation need the acceptance of at least a minimal fair setting (e.g. legal framework to set up the market rules).

It would undermine their own interest, if the minimal fairness required would become an object of competition itself. "And the justice limit, the institutional limit, to a government’s partiality in favor of its own citizens is then that its partial conduct must not undermine the minimal fairness of the global institutional order." (Pogge 2003). Global instiutional order
Duties and acknowledgement Human Rights Indicators GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT ETHICS The Search for Cosmopolitan Governance & Responsibility through Human Rights Indicators Global Justice-Approach:
Capabilities & Agency Approach:

Global Institutional Framework

(e.g. Pogge 2008) Based on individual or collective choices

deliberative democracy (Participation)
moral principles vs. constructivist views
empowerment, rationality, etc...

(e.g. A. Sen 2004; M. Nussbaum, D. A. Crocker 2009)
What is moral progress/development?(From an universalist, i.e. cosmopolitan point of view)

How can it be justified or assessed?

Are ethical standards, e.g. Human Rights, an expression of development. Further, an end or an mean?
A Project by UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (Prof. Riedel, IHEID):

Outcome, Process and Structural Indicators will be assessed in Ghana, Colombia, and Spain (most likely 2011). Merci!

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