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The ethics of state sponsored development
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In the decade of the eighties two blueprints for development, the Brandt and Brundtland RePc)rts, were published with the intention of providing states with a development program. These reports propose remarkably similar solutions to the world's development problems. However, the underlying ethic which could be used to guide the proposals is dissimilar. The Brandt RePOrt is Predicated upon an ethic of rights and obligations to others, while the Brundtiand Report ethic is based upon C n interests. In neither report is the underlying ethic developed. Beginning with these two reports can we construct an ethic which could guide state sponsored development policy? A number of contemporary writers on development construct theories which could be used to support the ethic of Brandt, and be applied to state sponsored development. The neo-Kantian ethics of Gewirth, Shue and O'Neill provide examples of such an ethic. However, a deontic ethic- designed for governing interpersonal relations- is not easily extendable to governmental bodies constrained by rather strict mandates. Attempting to formulate an ethic to govern state sponsored development through theories of justice, such as those proposed by Beitz and Pogge, is also problematic. The constraints of iv a deontic ethic- designed for governing interpersonal relations- is not easily extendable to governmental bodies constrained by rather strict mandates. Attempting to formulate an ethic to govern state sponsored developmentt [sic] through theories of justice, such as those proposed by Beitz and Pogge, is also problematic. The constraints of a governments' mandate can conflict with the demands of contemporary theories of justice. An alternative approach- suggested by the ethic of Brundtlandwhich would base state sponsored development upon an interest based ethic requires examination. Many of the problems of development evince structures similar to those described by game theorists as assurance games and prisoner's dilemms. If this is the case, and a legitimate ethic can be constructed which guides agents behavior toward attaining optimal results, such an ethic may be appropriate for guiding state sponsored development. It is suggested that an ethic such as Gauthier proposes in Morals by Agreement may be best suited to guide development policy. Such an interest based ethic is consonant with the mandate which legitimates government authority.
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Includes bibliographical references.
Soisson, Ryan Paul (1993). The ethics of state sponsored development. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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