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Whose social justice is it anyway?

01.21.43

Whose social justice is it anyway?

Twenty years ago the UN published the hugely influential Human Development Report.  Drawing on the work of Amartya Sen, it aimed at ‘putting people back at the centre of the development process…going beyond income to assess the level of people’s long-term well-being’, something that has been carried forward in contemporary debate around social justice.  But, should social justice be primarily about subjective well-being or should it be about material and political development?  Speakers in this outstanding panel debate include Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent at Daily Telegraph, Sabina Alkire, author and director at Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative; Ann Bernstein, executive director, Centre for Development Enterprise, South Africa; Anil Gupta, professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Stewart Wallis, executive director, new economics foundation (nef).

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Related topics: Debates, Democracy, Social Change

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Vanessa said:

I cannot believe what Charles Windsor really meant what he wrote. He just passes ignorance and indifference as cultural tolerance and pluralism. It is not part of any culture, neither Indian culture to be poor and live in a slum. A situation is unjust when it could be changed and was preventable, in these case interventions are indicated. But as Ann Bernstein sais right, not ever think is under human control. These kind of thinking that we can change and control economic growth, environmental pollution, global warming and the global overcrowding is arrogant and false. We are not able to predict the weather for next week for sure, but lead the global markets? Of course, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. That you find confusing was the contradiction between Ann Bernstein and Sabina Alkire about whether economic growth has positive effects for the poor in a country or not. These should be clarified.

Ke said:

I commend the organizers for setting up the panel so that related views were heard in a relevant order.

The debate made me think of the differences between domestic and global inequality. Personally, as a Portuguese citizen, I was struck by how limited the news reported my country. Although the Portuguese economy is in crisis. Like Professor Anil said, the local people aren’t that passive. For example, due to the Mediterranean climate, the Portuguese tourism industry is growing.