An assessment of recent ethical discourses on globalization: comparing the critique of Joseph Stiglitz on global capital with ecumenical globalization debates on the Accra declaration
Davids, Rochelle Nicolette
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This research will investigate how globalization developed its own ethical discourse, based on perceived benefits and failures; also how it could be transformed within the global economic sphere, based on critique and advice given by Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, a world renowned economist. Globally, historically and currently, there has been a misunderstanding about the concept and dynamics of globalization among government officials, economists and ordinary citizens. This resulted in an economic imbalance that benefited [and still benefits] the rich and leaves the poor outside in the cold. In this research I wish to explore the critique of Stiglitz on globalization, specifically on global capital. The aim is to bring the Stiglitz critique into alignment with critical debates within ecumenical circles on the responsibility of human agents – based on middle-ground (shared ground) ethical discourse. The normative framework for such a comparison of responses to globalization, delivering middle axioms in ethical discourse, is taken from various strands of “Responsibility Theory”, especially the contributions of authors such as Tödt, Schweiker and Sacks. The important goal of this inter-disciplinary exercise is to bring about a balance between the discrepancy of the proclaimed benefits and the extreme negative effects which globalization has for millions of people worldwide, as expressed by Stiglitz and confirmed by various ecumenical discourses. For the purposes of this study ecumenical debates on globalization, called forth by the impact of the Accra Declaration on Globalization (2004), are discussed in some detail: the Agape Process within the World Council of Churches, the Stackhouse Project on Globalization and the joint Project on Globalization of the Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa and the Reformed Church in Germany. The results of the study show a convergence in ethical concerns and the strengthening of ethical discourse between critical economists and ecumenical theologians, especially on extreme and ever-growing discrepancies between rich and poor, and the effect of unbridled economic activity on the future of our planet. It is hoped that this study will contribute towards ongoing inter-disciplinary work on the burning social-ethical issues facing humanity and our earth.