Global Poverty, Ethics and Human Rights
The Role of Multilateral Organisations
Routledge – 2009 – 192 pages
Series: Rethinking Globalizations
Severe poverty is one of the greatest moral challenges of our times. But what place, if any, do ethical thinking and questions of global justice have in the policies and practice of international organizations? This books examines this question in depth, based on an analysis of the two major multilateral development organizations - the World Bank and the UNDP - and two specific initiatives where poverty and ethics or human rights have been explicitly in focus: in the Inter-American Development Bank and UNESCO.
The current development aid framework may be seen as seeking to make globalization work for the poor; and multilateral organizations such as these are powerful global actors, whether by virtue of their financial resources, or in their role as global norm-setting bodies and as sources of hegemonic knowledge about poverty. Drawing on their backgrounds in political economy, ethics and sociology of knowledge, as well as their inside knowledge of some of the case studies, the authors show how, despite the rhetoric, issues of ethics and human rights have – for very varying reasons and in differing ways – been effectively prevented from impinging on actual practice.
Global Poverty, Ethics and Human Rights will be of interest to researchers and advanced students, as well as practitioners and activists, in the fields of international relations, development studies, and international political economy. It will also be of relevance for political philosophy, human rights, development ethics and applied ethics more generally.
"This is an important book, one of the first comparative studies of the ethics in use within the most significant development organizations. Essential reading for students of global ethics as well as students of development." - Craig Murphy, M. Margaret Ball Professor of International Relations at Wellesley College and author of The UN Development Programme: A Better Way? (2006).
"In their official communications, our international agencies speak often and grandly of global justice, human rights, and the eradication of poverty. Yet, as many have noted, these commitments are hardly apparent in their practical work. In this controversial and groundbreaking book, McNeill and St. Clair seek to explain why this is so, based on a close look inside four international agencies."- Thomas Pogge, Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs, Yale University, USA
"The strengths of this very thoughtful, readable, and well-researched book are various… This is a highly competent multidisciplinary consideration of how ethics are precluded from taking hold within the institutional order, enriched by the care with which the authors approach the study of their subject." - Margot Salomon, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal for People-Centered Development’, 13:2, 319-321 (2012)
1. Introduction 2. International Organisations and the Challenge of Global Poverty 3. Ethics, Human Rights and Global Justice 4. UNDP: The Human Development Paradigm 5. The World Bank: The Internal Dynamics of a Complex Organisation 6. UNESCO: 'Poverty as a Violation of Human Rights' 7. The Inter-American Development Bank: 'Social Capital, Ethics and Development' 8. Conclusion