GCPH Seminar Series 3: Towards Ethical Economics - An Initial Exploration

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Summary: It seems we are in trouble. Two recent reports, the Stern Report on the economic impact of climate change for the UK Treasury and that of International Panel on Climate Change‚ suggest that human activity has serious environmental consequences, such as global warming. The almost insatiable demands on natural resources by giant emerging economies like China and India are new as is that in East Europe. Yet more than two billion people still live in abject poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Their basic needs and demands must be fulfilled. Can all of this be sustained in the context of inexorable GDP growth being the exclusive measure of material fulfilment and happiness? How can we find an ethical economic response when demands are increasing, resources are declining and damage to the fabric of the ecosphere on which we all depend upon for life is becoming obvious? One way forward is suggested by the traditional Indian thought of humans being a part of nature and therefore helping to sustain it. A starting point may to be distinguish between demands and needs. While demands can be infinite and never satisfied, needs are finite and can be met within the sustainable paradigm. The important task of defining these needs raises questions of ethics. How can we address environmental, social and economic questions simultaneously? The challenge is to try and develop a set of ethical values or even a way of thinking that is broadly acceptable, practical and yet encourages us to continue our search for answers to the unknown in the universe both within and without. The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) is one of India's leading economic policy think tanks and Rajiv Kumar, a graduate of Oxford and Lucknow Universities has recently been advising the President of India on Globalisation, based on scenarios for Indian development which he developed with others for the World Economic Forum. In this lecture he will combine his extensive economic experience with his interest in human flourishing to explore these issues and their implications for wellbeing.
Creators: Rajiv Kumar
Copyright holder: Copyright ©2007 Glasgow Centre for Population Health
Tags: Public Health, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Economics, Poverty, Ethics, India
Viewing permissions: World
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Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 10:56
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 13:59
URI: https://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/362

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