Books  General Natural History  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

The Ethics of Development

By: Des Gasper

256 pages, no illustrations

Edinburgh University Press

Paperback | Dec 2003 | #159532 | ISBN: 0748610588
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £22.99 $29/€27 approx

About this book

Ethics is a global concern in an increasingly interconnected global economy. This text examines the key issues confronting us in relation to the meanings and nature of development as an ethical category. This includes analysis of the issues concerning and arising in low-income countries, the drive towards material wealth, the cultural differences which influence those decisions and the questions about whose conceptions of development should be adhered to: the state, enterprise, intellectuals, communities, individuals? How can we have a universal ethical stance on development, and is that even appropriate?

Des Gasper's critical survey of the field of 'the ethics of development' is not a difficult read and can be appreciated as much by the general reader as by students of development ! a helpful source book for a module on the subject area. Journal of Development Studies Des Gasper has written the best book available on the "ethics of development" -- its history, scope, and challenges. Offering searching criticisms of mainstream development as conceptually blinded to human destitution and social justice, Gasper insightfully analyzes and evaluates alternative development visions. Novice and specialist alike will benefit from his careful dissection of such concepts as economic growth, efficiency, equity, poverty, violence, basic human needs, culture, and human development. -- Professor David Crocker, University of Maryland Des Gasper's critical survey of the field of 'the ethics of development' is not a difficult read and can be appreciated as much by the general reader as by students of development ! a helpful source book for a module on the subject area. Des Gasper has written the best book available on the "ethics of development" -- its history, scope, and challenges. Offering searching criticisms of mainstream development as conceptually blinded to human destitution and social justice, Gasper insightfully analyzes and evaluates alternative development visions. Novice and specialist alike will benefit from his careful dissection of such concepts as economic growth, efficiency, equity, poverty, violence, basic human needs, culture, and human development.


Contents

Preface; 1. What is the Ethics of Development?; 1.1. Why Development Ethics? Cases and Questions; Extreme poverty amidst immense riches; Health and sickness, needs and profits; Towards a 'calculus of pain': recognising varieties of suffering and violence; The infliction of costs on the weak: the examples of dams, famines, debt, and structural adjustment; Global obligations and universal values?; What is development?; 1.2. What? On Meanings and Agenda; The core agenda of development ethics; Emergence and contributors; Definitions; 1.3. How? On Methods and Roles; Methods; Possible roles of development ethics; Global or Southern?; 2. The Meaning of 'Development'; 2.1. Purposes and Themes; 2.2. Ahistorical Definitions; Usages across the disciplines; Usages in development studies; 2.3. Historically Specific Conceptions Of Development: On Change, Intervention and Progress; 2.4. On Improvement: Issues in Normative Ahistorical Definition; Development as opportunity or as achievement?; Universalism and relativism; Commonality?; 2.5. Conclusion; 3. 'Efficiency & Effectiveness'; - Mainstream Development Evaluation in Theory & Practice; 3.1. Introduction: Mainstream Value Positions, and Alternatives; 3.2. Effectiveness Towards What and For Whom?; Effectiveness towards what?; Effectiveness for whom?; 3.3. Efficiency in Terms of Which Values ?; What is efficient depends on what one's values are; Tacit variants of economic efficiency: Paretian and utilitarian; Concepts of efficiency and practices of victimization; 3.4. Setting Economic Efficiency in Social and Environmental Context; Limitations of a separate concept of economic efficiency; Economic efficiency confined to a delimited role within a human and physical context; Means and ends; 3.5. Understanding Value-Systems; Comparison of value positions in development evaluation; The structure of market-oriented arguments; 'Consumer sovereignty'; 3.6. Conclusion: Beyond Economism; 4. 'Equity' - Who Bear Costs and Who Reap Benefits?; 4.1. Sacrificing the Weak; 4.2. Aspects of Equity; Criteria of distributive equity; An application to the regulation of grazing in Zimbabwe; An application to selection for resettlement in Zimbabwe; Positive discrimination; 4.3. A Deeper Analysis of Concepts; Sen's framework for understanding different distributive criteria; Land, returns, and the fruits of effort; Whose are the international debts?; 4.4. Assessing the Different Interpretations; Equality of what? Why equality?; Selecting from or interrelating the principles; Socio-political contexts; 4.5. Conclusion; 5. Violence and Human Security; 5.1. The Reemergence of Violence and Security as Central Concerns; 5.2. Development and Violence as Value-relative? On Concepts; 'Violence'; 'Development' and peace; 5.3. Development as Value-Damaging?; Varieties of violence; Violence and the economy; 5.4. Downgrading the Cost of Violence and Denying Alternatives; Market theory: only interests, no passions; The downgrading and defining away of costs and alternatives; 5.5. Real Alternatives and Painful Choices; Notions of tragedy, evil, dilemma; Towards a calculus of pain with a respect for persons?; 6. Needs and Basic Needs; 6.1. First Things First; 6.2. The Language of Need; Meanings and syntax of 'need'; A unifying framework for needs ethics and policy; Meanings of 'basic'; 6.3. A Richer Picture of Persons; Do we need a picture of persons?; A better empirical base for prediction and evaluation; Reinterpretations of poverty, luxury, and limitless demand; 6.4. Dangers in Needs Theories and Ethics; Passive and pacifying?; Overextended?; 6.5. The Discursive and Practical Strategy of 'Basic Human Needs'; A required basis for other ethics; Steps in operationalization; A programmatic alternative to economism; 6.6. Conclusions: Beggars can't be Choosers; 7. 'Human Development': Capabilities and Positive Freedom; 7.1. From Basic Needs to a Fuller Philosophy of Development; 7.2. The UNDP Human Development School; The Human Development Reports; Human Development and Human Rights; 7.3. Sen's Capability Approach and 'Development as Freedom'; Freedom and Reason; Development as Freedom; Components of the capability approach; Policy orientation; 7.4. Doubts and Alternatives; Sen's picture of persons, capabilities and freedom; Nussbaum's capabilities ethic; For and against a universal list of priority capabilities; 7.5. Conclusion; 8. Cultures and the Ethics of Development; 8.1. Can One Criticise Cultures and Yet Avoid Ethnocentrism?; Agenda; Introductory cases; Is liberalism illiberal?; 8.2. Culture: The Underlying Issues; Conceptions of 'culture'; Roles perceived for culture; Natural man, plasticine man, and nurtured natural man; The uneasy balance between individual rights and group rights; Women's right to employment?; 8.3. Communitarian Ethics and Cultural Relativism; The texture of communitarian ethics; Walzer's worlds; Communitarianism is based on poor sociology; Cultural relativism is inconsistent; The centrality of internal criticism; 8.4. Cases and Procedures; Criteria for just decisions; An overview of cases; 8.5. Conclusion; 9. Epilogue; Bibliography.

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Biography

Des Gasper is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, a centre of development studies where he is currently Dean of teaching. He is co-author (with Raymond Apthorpe) of Arguing Development Policy (Frank Cass, 1996).

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