Faculty Colloquium IV: The Ethics in Development Studies


woensdag 14 apr 2021, 17:00


woensdag 14 apr 2021, 18:30

Ethics had always been an important subject in development studies. The philosopher and economist Amartya Sen has had enormous influence on this, with his human development and capability approach.

In this talk, prof. dr. Irene van Staveren will briefly review some examples of recent research at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), starting with development ethics built upon the Capability Approach. Next, she will briefly review two new streams of research at ISS related to ethics: decoloniality research and Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). While the first starts from an explicitly ethical position of injustice done by colonial powers and the influence this still has in the global south, the second claims to be completely value-free and purely empirical, whereas this claim is at the same time contested.

Irene van Staveren is professor of pluralist development economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). She studied economics at the EUR and also obtained her PhD here, although at a different department (ESHCC), in the area of ethics and economics. She is board member of the Sustainable Finance Lab and board member of the student movement Rethinking Economics NL. She recently published Alternative ideas from ten (almost) forgotten economists (Palgrave McMillan, 2021), has published a pluralist economic textbook (Economics after the Crisis – an introduction to economics from a pluralist and global perspective, Routledge, 2015), which she has turned into a mooc with currently over 40,000 learners. As a pluralist economist, Irene is involved in a variety of networks, including EIPE at EUR, and IAFFE (International Association For Feminist Economics), ASE (Association for Social Economics) and WINIR (World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research). She is the proud mother of two children, one of them recently graduated at ESPHIL with a double degree relating philosophy to psychology.