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Rethinking Macroeconomic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective

By Radhika Balakrishnan, Diane Elson | February 2009

Radhika Balakrishnan
Professor of Economics and International Studies
Marymount Manhattan College

Diane Elson
Professor, Department of Sociology, and Human Rights Centre
University of Essex

Rajeev Patel
School of Development Studies
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Over the past three decades, economic policy has been geared toward achieving economic growth, underwritten by assumptions about the virtues of the market. Efficiency rather than ethics has been the focus of concern. When attention has been paid to human rights, economic policy making has proceeded with the assertion that economic growth, no matter how skewed in favor of a few, will ultimately benefit all by providing resources for the realization of human rights. Yet, the means adopted to achieve economic growth have been responsible for undermining goals in the domain of human rights. It is clearly time to assess economic policy using the ethical lens of the human rights standards that all governments have agreed upon. This project has piloted a process of analysis that can help rethink macroeconomic strategies from a human rights perspective, with a focus on economic and social rights. Such a process requires the bringing together of two groups that are seldom in communication with each other: progressive economists and human rights advocates. This report is the second stage of such a dialogue.

Download: Rethinking Macreconomic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective (PDF, 1.23 M)

Read More: Business, Economy, Ethics, Governance, Human Rights, Global

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