Ethics of Development in the Age of Globalization

  • Zsolt BodaEmail author
Part of the Virtues and Economics book series (VIEC, volume 1)


The paper focuses on three interrelated problems that embody the essential contradictions of the mainstream development ideas in the globalization age. First, development is still mostly defined in materialistic terms, and, as such, it is largely under the influence of mainstream economic considerations. Second, development has remained the problem of ‘poor countries’ – the ‘developed’ nations are apparently reluctant to face the development crisis they have caused, although ecological problems made it truly global. The environmental crisis concerns the rich countries as well, meaning a crisis of their development paradigm. Third, although the development project was born as an international one, it has failed to truly unfold as such despite the advent of the ‘age of globalization’. Paradoxically, globalization brought about ideas and practice of limited global solidarity and international cooperation, except the field of neoliberal economic policy.

The paper uses the ideas of Denis Goulet who argued that development is, first, an undeniably normative and value-laden concept, and second, that it is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. That is, development is about creating a better world, and this should include improvements not only in terms of welfare, but also of social conditions, political empowerment, the cultural foundations of self-esteem and ecological aspects. Finally, development is a common endeavor of humanity necessitating global cooperation and effective forms of solidarity between nations and people.


Gross Domestic Product United Nations Rich Country Gross Domestic Product Growth Sustainable Development Goal Sustainable 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social SciencesHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Corvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary

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