Spring for 2017-2018
International Development is conventionally understood to entail the economic and political transformation of developing countries for the intended purpose of improving the lives of the men, women and children in those societies. However, all development activities rest upon a complex and contestable normative foundation. The intention of this course is to draw attention to, and illuminate the ethical and moral textures of development’s economic and political policies and practices.
** 2nd Year MIDP Students Only
This course will critically evaluate international development’s fundamental objectives as well as the prevailing means pursued to achieve those objectives through the prism of normative reasoning and ethical criteria. We will proceed by first introducing the student to some of the moral principles, values, and theories that are relevant to today’s prevailing development challenges. We will subsequently apply these principles to specific development policies and practices through scholarly readings and case studies. The course will explore the ethical threads that run through the major public policy concerns of domestic governance, international trade, migration, technology development and transfer, climate change, as well as the politics of donor aid.

At the conclusion of the course the student is expected to be knowledgeable of the moral foundations of international development, and sensitive to the ethical choices and dilemmas that development theoreticians and practitioners face. The student will gain an appreciation of the current debates swirling around foreign aid and be able to enter into that debate cognizant of both its ethical and empirical dimensions.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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