Ethics in International Political Economy: No Question about It
Kamminga, Menno R.
'Conventional' models of how the field of international political economy should engage with ethics have proposed or assumed the normative primacy of ethical principles and often sought to add reliable empirical economic analysis so that political perspectives on economic systems, institutions and practices can result. James Brassett and Christopher Holmes (2010) have criticized such approaches for overlooking the potentially violent character of ethics as a constitu- tive discourse like any other. The present article defends the conventional method against Brassett and Holmes's critique. Focusing especially on Thomas Pogge's ethics of world poverty as Brassett and Holmes's main conventionalist target, the article argues that: (i) Brassett and Holme s's understanding of 'ethics' is seriously inadequate; (ii) Pogge's 'negative duty not to harm' principle should be maintained against Brassett and Holmes's troublingly 'political' account and facile relativist critique of Pogge's ethics; (iii) Brassett and Holmes, while conceivably critical of Pogge's global level reformist solution as superficially 'neo liberal', cannot see that their own arguably valuable proposal of radical local forms of 'resistance' can coherently complete Pogge's poverty ethics and thus confirms, rather than undermines, the conventional method. Ultimately, Brassett and Holmes's post structural attempt risks being 'violent' itself for implying a renewed international moral skepticism.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Menno R. Kamminga, "Ethics in International Political Economy: No Question about It", in "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/1", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019, pp. 315-330