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Ethics of Development in the Age of Globalization

The paper “Ethics of Development in the Age of Globalization” by Zsolt Boda was published in the book Peter Rona and Laszlo Zsolnai (Eds.): Economics as a Moral Science (Springer, 2017).

The departure point of the paper is that “development” is a normative and value-laden concept which refers to a multi-dimensional phenomenon. Development should include improvements in material welfare, but also of social conditions, political empowerment, the cultural foundations of self-esteem and ecological conditions.

Boda argues that, despite some achievements, the current model of development is failing to meet important challenges, like that of the environmental crisis. However, this is not accidental: development led by global business is unable to incorporate the necessary social, cultural, and environmental considerations. Ethical development requires the transformation of global business and economic regulatory rules (for instance, those defined by the World Trade Organization), but it also needs a complex social, political, and institutional infrastructure that can ensure the translation of the different dimensions of development into decisions and practice.