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Making a Case for the Common Good in a Global Economy: The United Nations Human Development Reports[1990–2001]

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Whereas the chief development question of the past has been “how much is a nation producing?” the human development perspective that characterizes the United Nations Human Development Reports shifts the question to “how are its people faring?” This shift reflects the fundamental moral orientation of the human development perspective which makes a case for the common good in a global economy. Relating the themes and claims of the human development reports to Brian Stiltner’s recent study on religion and the common good, the author shows a variety of ways in which the common good as a moral norm is embedded in the human development perspective, without the context of religion. She explicates the presence and utility of this norm in these United Nations reports written by economists, development specialists, and policy advisors who seek to present and assess the humanizing and dehumanizing features of globalization.
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Keywords: common good; development; globalization; human development perspective; moral vision; religion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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