Development ethics: Distance, difference, plausibility

Philosophy and Geography 1 (1):35 – 53 (1998)
This paper defends some aspects of the intentionalist and internationalist worldviews of (an expanded) mainstream development studies against certain moral claims emanating from the New Right and a diverse post-Left. I contend that citizens and states in the advanced industrial world have a responsibility to attend to the claims of distant strangers. Although it is difficult to specify in determinate ways how this responsibility should be discharged—save for attending to basic human needs and rights—the responsibility itself derives from the interlinking and asymmetrical exchanges that bind distant strangers together in an interdependent world economy. I draw on Rawls and Roemer to specify the nature of this responsibility. I also draw on Benhabib to make a modified Rawlsian theory of justice less abstract while continuing to insist on the possibility and necessity of conversations between radically different social actors. The final part of the paper attends to questions of plausibility. I suggest that New Right and (more so) post-Left critiques of an expanded mainstream in development studies and policy are ethically deficient to the extent that they commend alternative development strategies without giving proper consideration to their costs and disbenefits. Development ethics, I conclude, is not just about questions of transnational justice and positionality; it is also about the construction of plausible alternative worlds and practical development policies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13668799808573631
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,879
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Michael Sandel (2003). Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Routledge, in Association with the Open University 336-343.
J. Rawls (1995). Political Liberalism. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Anthony Giddens (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #115,510 of 1,725,159 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,161 of 1,725,159 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.