Economic, social and cultural rights: socioeconomic human rights are distinct from civil and political rights. Economic, social and cultural rights (ESC) are included in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and outlined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Examples of such rights include the right to food, the right to housing and the right to health. According to the theory of , these rights are considered second-generation rights. The theory of negative and positive rights three generations of human rights considers ESC rights as positive rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes ESC rights as both natural and legal rights, defining human rights as inalienable by nature while also issuing legal protection. Signatories of the declaration are obligated to this pledge: —The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
By December, 2008, the ICESCR had 160 parties. Another six countries had signed, but not yet ratified. Some states have not signed the ICESCR and are unwilling to enshrine purported economic, social and cultural rights as legal rights. Other nations, such as the United States, have signed but not ratified, on the basis that the government may provide services if resources are available, but such rights are merely social goals. According to Amnesty International, this was the view held by the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations following the official signing of the ICESCR during the Carter administration. Research by the Heritage Foundation (right-wing think tank) argues that signing the ICESCR would obligate the introduction of policies such as universal health care, which are typically opposed by right-wing groups. Further, only 31 States have signed the Optional Protocol (OP-ICESCR), which recognizes the competence of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to consider complaints from individuals. Human rights advocates argue ratification and implementation of OP-ICESCR is a necessary component to ensure these rights.
The UDHR and ICESCR are only two of the mechanisms that recognize economic, social and cultural rights as having full justiciability. Many constitutions and human rights organizations around the world recognize ESC rights. For example, the 1996 South African Constitution includes economic, social and cultural rights. Similar to the function of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the South African Constitutional Court has subsequently heard claims under these obligations. India's constitution, which does not explicitly recognize economic and social rights in their constitution, has nonetheless found that these rights exist, though un-enumerated, inferable from the right to life. Lastly, networking groups such as ESCR-Net are working to create online resources and spread information about effective cases, initiatives and working groups promoting ideals and celebrating victories of human rights initiatives and the Optional Protocol. Currently, human rights advocacy groups are working diligently to fine-tune rules, regulations and implementation schemes; little news of complaint successes or failures is available.
Efficiency: an estimated measurement that suggests how well an economic system serves a society. An economic system is efficient when 1) no ones wealth increases without making another’s wealth decrease, 2) the most output is obtained from a given amount of inputs and 3) production proceeds at the lowest possible per unit cost. These parameters of efficiency are not precise equivalences, but together they show that nothing more can be achieved given the resources available.
The term microeconomic reform often refers to policies whose stated goal is to increase economic efficiency. A system proceeds with the minimum amount of waste as the measure of used and unused effort and resources. Efficiency is improved when the amount of waste or friction is reduced.
Empiricism: in philosophy, a theory of knowledge that 1) uses experience as sensory perception as its basis for knowledge and ideas, 2) refutes the notion of innate ideas and 3) emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge related to experience as formed by deliberate experiment. A basic requirement of the scientific method is that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation and, therefore, the methodology of science is empirical by nature. Empiricism has a dual etymology: 1) from the Greek word eµpesµ and 2) in Latin: experientia, experience. It derives from a specific classical Greek and Roman usage of the word empiric: a physician whose skill (in theory) derives from practical experience as opposed to instruction.
Epistemology: The basis for theories about knowledge as the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. The term was introduced into English in the 19th C. Debate in the field of epistemology is based on analysing the nature of knowledge: how it relates to similar concepts such as, truth, belief and justification.
- What is knowledge, what constitutes it?
- How is it acquired and what means qualify?
- What do people know and what is the extent of our capacity know?
Epistemological realism: a philosophical position as a subcategory of objectivism that claims that what you know about an object exists independently of your mind. Thus, it opposes epistemological idealism. It is related directly to the correspondence theory of truth, which claims that the world exists independently and innately to our perceptions of it. Our sensory data then reflects or corresponds to the innate world.
Essentialism: the concept in philosophy that for any specific kind of entity there is a set of characteristics or properties as essencesall of which any entity of that kind must have. (Anti-essentialists refutes this stating that for a given entity, no specific traits exist for entity.) A member of a specific kind of entity may possess other characteristics that neither establish nor preclude its membership. Essences do not simply reflect ways of grouping objects, but must result in a properties of the object. An essence characterizes a substance or a form, in the sense of the forms or ideas in Platonic idealism. Essence is permanent, unalterable, eternal and present in every possible world. Classical humanism has an essentialist conception of the human being, which means that it believes in an eternal, constant human nature. This view takes critical refute from Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre and other modern and existential thinkers known broadly as anti-essentialist.
Ethics: The philosophy of morality, Gk: ethos: custom or habit. It is a major branch of philosophy about right conduct and good life and is more than analysing the concept of right and wrong. A key part of it is the good life, defining the life worth living or life that is satisfying. The main challenge is in the search for the summum bonum: the greatest good. Ethics is the theory of right action and the greater good. Morals are the ethics in the active practice. Moral has a dual meaning, 1) it indicates one's comprehension of morality and capacity to enact it; the antonym is amoral: the inability to discern right from wrong and 2) it is the active practice of those values; in this sense, the antonym is immoral: acts that violate ethical principles.
Personal ethics is a moral code applicable to individuals and social ethics is moral theory applied to groups. Social ethics can be synonymous with social and political philosophy, in as much as it is the foundation of a good society or state. Ethics goes beyond specific acts and defined moral codes to encompass all moral ideals and behaviors as weltanschauung: one's philosophy of life. Descriptive ethics is a value-free approach to ethics. It examines ethics via observations of actual choices that moral agents make in practice, rather than from a top-down a priori view. Some philosophers rely on descriptive ethics and choices made and unchallenged by a society or culture to derive categories, which vary by context. This can lead to situational ethics and situated ethics. These philosophers often view aesthetics, etiquette and arbitration as more basic, to imply the existence of, rather than prescribe, theories of value or of conduct. The study of descriptive ethics may include inquiries about the
- codes of ethics as applied by various groups; some consider aesthetics itself the basis of ethics and a personal moral core developed through art and storytelling as influential in one's later ethical choices,
- informal theories of etiquette, which tend to be conditional and less exact; thus, the view of etiquette as a negative ethics in which can one evade an awkward truth without doing wrong. This defines ethics as more of a summary of common sense social choices,
- decisions in arbitration and law wherein ethics is a matter of balancing right versus right, which requires assigning a priority for one of two choices, which are both right and the
- observed choices that persons make, persons who vote, buy and decide upon values without expert aid or advice; this is a key concern of sociology, political science and economics.
Meta-ethics analyses the meaning of ethical judgments and/or prescriptions of the notion about which properties, if any, are responsible for the truth or the validity of it. Meta-ethics as a study gained lasting attention due to the book Principia Ethica by G. E. Moore, 1903, in which the author conceived what he called the naturalistic fallacy. Moore's rebuttal of naturalistic ethics is in the form of an open question argument. It sparked much interest within the analytic branch of western philosophy as it puts the center of concern for a person within the second tier of questions about ethics as the semantics, epistemology and ontology of ethics.
The semantics of ethics divides into the positions of 1) descriptivism and 2) non-descriptivism. The first position advocates the idea that prescriptive language, which includes ethical commands and duties, is a subdivision of descriptive language and has meaning by way of the same kind of properties as descriptive propositions. In contrast, the latter position contends that ethical propositions are irreducible in the sense that their meanings fail in terms of truth-conditions.
The epistemology of ethics divides into the positions: 1) cognitivism and 2) non-cognitivism, which are equivalent to the descriptivists and the non-descriptivists. Non-cognitivism is the claim that ethical claims either 1) reach beyond the scope of human cognition or, as the weaker claim, 2) that ethics is concerned with action rather than with knowledge. Thus, cognitivism is a claim that ethics is concerned with the judgment of knowledge that are matters of fact.
The ontology of ethics is concerned with the idea of properties that bear values as the kind of things that would correspond or refer to ethical propositions. Non-descriptivists and non-cognitivists tend to argue that ethics do not require a specific ontology, since ethical propositions do not refer to objects in the same way that descriptive propositions do. This is often called the anti-realist position, while on the other hand, realists have to explain 1) what kind of entities, properties or states are relevant for ethics and 2) why they have the normative status characteristic of ethics.
Ethics construction: EC: a more credible account of how peace, which is vital and moral, is attainable. EC is a more acceptable creed than Kant’s ethics because EC has a firmer grounding in the way in which ethics functions in human life. EC has more credibility than political realism because it has firmer basis in the causal powers, which social scientists find operative in society. Moreover, EC offers a theory-based methodology for building a sustainable peace and justice. The practices of EC are guided by the premise that ethics, or norms, are the basis from which society forms. Thus, improving society means improving norms, or, to use an idiom more apt to social science as social structures are cultural structures and cultural structures are normative. More about this is explored here, on the web site, in the paper: "Construction of ethics: doorway to a higher pragmatism".
Ethics of care: a normative ethical theory: a theory about what makes actions right or wrong as one of a group of normative ethical theories developed by feminists in the 20th century. While the consequentialist and deontological ethical theories emphasize universal standards and impartiality, the ethics of care sees the centrality of relationships. Care-centric feminism is a branch of feminist thought informed primarily by ethics of care as developed by Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings. This body of theory is critical of how caring is socially engendered to women and, thus, devalued. Care-centric feminists regard women’s capacity for care as a human strength that can and should be taught to and expected of men as well as women. Noddings proposes that ethical caring has the potential to be a more concrete evaluative model of moral dilemma than does an ethics of justice. Noddings’ care-centric feminism requires practical application of a relational ethics predicated on an ethics of care.
It forms a basis for care-centric feminist theorizing on maternal ethics. Critical of how society engenders the labor of care givers, theorists Sara Ruddick, Virginia Held and Eva Kittay suggest that caring should be performed and care givers valued in both public and private spheres. Their theories recognize caring as an ethically relevant issue. This proposed paradigm shift in ethics encourages that an ethics of caring be the social responsibility of both men and women. The basic tenets of the theory are:
- All individuals are interdependent for achieving their interests
- Those particularly vulnerable to our choices and their outcomes deserve extra consideration to be measured according to
- the level of their vulnerability to one's choices
- the level of their affectedness by one's choices and no one else's
- It is necessary to attend to the contextual details of the situation in order to safeguard and promote the actual specific interests of those involved.
Exchange value: The amount of money or other goods and services for which a unit of a good can be exchanged in a market, with money as the common measure of value in an exchange. Exchange is a quantitative relationship in which the worth of one commodity is stated in terms of another commodity. The quantitative aspect of the value is not necessarily stated in money-prices or in terms of money as commodity, but may be stated in terms of another commodity as in barter and counter-trade. Money, though is the most effective and universal medium exchange. Value, often a synonym for exchange, actually involves both quantity and quality. Exchange differs from price in two ways: 1) price is the transactional part of an exchange, unique from one exchange to the next in response to a the factors that affect the activity of exchange and 2) price is the specific form of value measuring the value of the commodity against money.
Prices expressed as money are the relatively accurate monetary expression of exchange value. The advantage of money is that it provides a universal equivalent that correlates the exchange value of all commodities, expressing them in a common unit. In that sense, money is the universal commodity. Exchange value can be expressed as in prices other than money; for example, in barter where X amount of goods as the price: p worth Y amounts of goods, the quantity: q. Marx made this clear in his dialectic derivation of the forms of value in of Das Kapital, C. 1.
In political economy, exchange value is one of four major attributes of a commodity: an item or service produced for and sold on the market. A commodity has 1) a value, 2) a use-value, 3) an exchange value and 4) a price. The four attributes have a long history in ideas, from Aristotle to Ricardo and they became more discernible as the growth of trade progressed. For Marx, the exchange value of a commodity is not the same as its price, but instead, it represents other commodities and quantities of them for which it will exchange, if traded.
When it began, money was a mere incidental to commodity trade as an adjunct of barter. Only in a more advanced capitalism is exchange value expressed almost always as units of money; even so, much barter and counter-trade still thrives. Price as a word came into use in Western Europe after the 13th century. Its Latin root pretium means reward, prize, value, worth, which refers back to the notion of recompense: what was given in return as the expense, wager, or incurred when a good changed handsnow known as opportunity cost. The verb to set the price of was in use from the 14th century onwards. Some economists believe that since exchange began at or near to the dawn of civilization, prices must go that far back too, though historians would dispute that.
The changing linguistic meaning of price reflect the early history of the growing moneyed economy and the developing of commercial trade. What price means today is certain and it is assumed that prices are all one of a kind since the use of money has become universal. Yet, there are many different kinds of prices, some of which are actually charged and some of which are only notional prices. Even though a price may not refer to any real transaction, it can still affect economic behavior because people have become conditioned to calculate exchange-value in terms of prices, using money.
Expansionism: 1. The policy of a nation to expand its territorial base or general economic influence through military aggression. Irredentism, revenge, or reunification are often the basis to justify and legitimize the expansion, but only when the explicit goal is regaining captured territories or ancestral lands. A simple territorial dispute as a disputed border is most often referred to as expansionism. 2. The promotion of economic growth, at odds with sustainable growth and economic policy.
Fair trade: a practical first step to economic justice as a financial relationship between producers, sellers and consumers based on the principle of equity within the exchange of goods. Equity is achieved through the creation of a platform for trade that is transparent and therefore accountable for the just treatment of all producers. This includes providing market avenues that allow marginalized producers the opportunity to sell, ensuring humane working conditions, while protecting environmental and cultural factors that play into the production process. Fair trade is sustained by its principles as capacities to:
- create opportunities for marginalized producers
- develop transparent relationships
- build the capacity for fair trade from the potential of it
- promote fair trade in any context
- pay promptly and fairly
- support humane, safe and empowering working conditions
- ensure children’s rights
- cultivate environmental stewardship
- respect cultural identity
- focus on exports produced by the industry of citizens in developing countries for import into developed countries.
Feminization of labor: Due to 1) the increased global competition for employment, 2) loss of public services as social democracies waned, 3) trade pacts such as the WTO and NAFTA, which transformed economies, 4) trade expansion, capital flows and 5) advances in technology. Increasingly, women leave their roles as mothers and homemakers to fill new job openings which globalization brings them. Low wages, gender discrimination, violence, maquiladoras and sexual assault are some of the adverse results of the global effects of feminization of labor.
As the global economy expands, companies look everywhere to recruit women in both developing and developed world, because men do not take low-wage jobs until they are desperate. From the standpoint of corporations, women are the preferred labor force because they work for lower wages and are less likely to organize. Thus, women are compelled to work at a low level of wages, without job security and autonomy. For example, billions of dollars from Walart has forced many independent shops out of business by cutting prices and reducing the wages of employees in the retail industry. Multinational companies are now looking for even cheaper labor in China, Mexico, Egypt, Gaza, the West Bank...
Dramatic political and economic social change have led to the feminization of the labor force in the United States. The downsizing of U.S. corporations, the globalization of the economy, the decline of manufacturing and the rise of the service sector were the sea changes by which women entered into the labor force. Global industrialization created jobs beyond the home and farm for women. At the same time, it eased pressure on education in the United States, both public and private, to reconstruct its curricula in order to provide the skills needed for the emerging industries.
Fiduciary duty: a fiscal duty that is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust regarding the management of money or property between two or more parties, most often a fiduciary and a principal. One party, for example a corporate trust company or the trust department of a bank, holds a fiduciary relation or acts in a fiduciary capacity to another, such as one whose funds are entrusted to it for investment. In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests.
Flexible accumulation: the system in which more and more things become commodities,which are increasingly speculative, the value of which is determined through the process of exchange, rather than through their use value. Much of the recent history of capitalism involves this system. For example, at first only the product is a commodity and then shares in the ownership of the factory that manufactures the product becomes a commodity. Then, options on the stock issued in the company that operates the factory become a commodity. Then, portions of the interest rate attached to bonds issued by the company become a commodity, and so on. The prevalence of commodity speculation in modern capitalism significantly shapes its outcomes.
Marx wrote that the treatment of labor as a commodity led to people value things more in terms of their price rather than their usefulness. This is what he called commodity fetish, which expands of the system of commodities. He observed that some people bought commodities in order to use them, while others bought them in order to sell them again at a profit.
Flexible labor: labor market flexibility: the speed with which labor markets adapt to fluctuations and changes in society and the production aspect of economy. The most common definition of labor market flexibility had been the neoliberal definition, which entailed the ease of labor market institutions in enabling labor markets to reach a continuous equilibrium determined by the intersection of the demand and supply curve. For example:
The four distinct types of labor market flexibility are based on the strategies that companies use, as identified by John Atkinson:
Labor market institutions were seen as inhibiting the clearing functions of the market by weakening the demand for labor, making it less attractive to hire a worker by explicitly pushing up the wage costs or by introducing a negative shadow price for labor, by distorting the labor supply, and by impairing the equilibrating function of the market mechanism, for instance by influencing bargaining behavior.—Horst Siebert
- External numerical flexibility is, to the adjustment of the labor intake, the number of workers from the external market by employing temporary workers, fixed-term contracts, or through relaxed hiring and firing regulations by weakening the Employment Protection Legislation so that employers can hire and fire permanent employees based on the firms’ needs.
- Internal numerical flexibility: working time flexibility or temporal flexibility: achieved by adjusting working hours and schedules of workers. This includes part-time, flexi-time or flexible working hours and shifts (including night shifts and weekend shifts), working time accounts, leaves of absence, e.g., parental leave and overtime.
- Functional flexibility:organizational flexibility: the extent employees can be transferred to different activities and tasks within the firm. It has to do with organization of operation or management and training workers. This can also be achieved by outsourcing activities.
- Financial: wage flexibility: wage levels are not decided collectively, so there are more differences between the wages of workers, so that pay and other employment costs reflect the supply and demand of labor. This is achieved by systems of rate-for-job , assessment based pay system, or individual performance wages.
Other than the four types of flexibility there are other types of flexibility that can be used to enhance adaptability. One way worth mentioning is locational flexibility: flexibility of place. This entails employees working outside of the normal work place such as home based work, outworkers: tele-workers. This may include workers who are relocated to other offices within the establishment.
However, labor market flexibility refers, as well, to the strategies used by employers to adapt to their production and business cycles as it is in the definitions above. The common view is that labor market flexibility can function for both workers and companies/ employers and employees. It can function as a method to enable workers to adjust working life and working hours to their own preferences and to other activities. As companies adapt to business cycles and facilitate their needs through the use of labor market flexibility strategies, workers adapt to their life cycles and their needs through it. The European Commission: TUC addresses this issue in its Joint Employment Report and its new flexicurity approach, calling for an adequate methods to enhance flexibility for both workers and employers that is capable of quick, effective mastery of new productive needs and skills; and, it facilitates the combination of work and private responsibilities. TUC emphasizes the importance of working time flexibility as an alternative to implementing external flexibility as the sole method of increasing flexibility in the labor market. In their report on working time, TUC has argued that flexible working should be extended to all workers through stronger regulations.
Freedom: 1. as liberty: an ideological and political philosophy that identifies the condition to which an individual has the right to behave according to one's own personal responsibility and free will. The concept of liberty is impacted by ideals concerning the social contract as well as arguments that are concerned with the state of nature. The individualist and classical liberal concept of liberty relate to the freedom of the individual—free from outside compulsion or coercion, which is defined as a negative liberty. Social liberal concepts of liberty relate freedom to social structure and agency, which is defined as a positive liberty.
2. Freedom as economic: a key part of economic policy debates; as with freedom in general, it has various definitions, but no absolute concept of economic freedom has gained acceptance. The most common approach to economic freedom comes from classical liberal and libertarian traditions emphasizing free markets and private property, while another extends the welfare economics study of individual choice, with greater economic freedom coming from a larger set of possible choices. Another more philosophical perspective emphasizes its context in distributive justice and basic freedoms of all individuals. Other conceptions of economic freedom include freedom from want and the freedom to engage in collective bargaining.
The free market point of view is that economic liberty is the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. This is embodied in the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract and characterized by external and internal openness of the markets, the protection of property rights and freedom of economic initiative. There are several indices of economic freedom that attempt to measure free market economic freedom. Some empirical studies based on these rankings have found higher living standards, economic growth, income equality, less corruption and less political violence to be correlated (not caused by) with free markets. Missing in that study is the data about 1) how many economies sampled, 2) what percentage of the economies in the study showed positive results and 3) free markets in comparison to what undisclosed types of other top-down systems. Moreover, when a disparity of wealth occurs as brought on by the unregulated free market, disparity has implicit corrupt aspects and creates the conditions for crime, an increasingly oppressive rule of law, apathy and alienation. In addition, corporate crimes against labor, consumers and the environment are still likely to occur as a market economy becomes freer, less regulated.
3. Freedom as political: the sovereignty of the state and individual without the intervention of mandate and force. Freedom is commonly known as a state of being free from government oppression. This defines freedom in the sense of a negative liberty, whereas freedom can be defined in the positive sense in which power and resources are actively applied to fulfil individual and state potential. The opposite of a free society is a totalitarian state, which highly restricts political freedom in order to regulate almost every aspect of behavior. In this sense freedom refers solely to the relation of humans to other humans and the only infringement on it is coercion by humans.
Free trade: a market model in which trade in goods and services between or within countries flow unhindered by government imposed restrictions as tariffs, taxes and other barriers as legislation and quotas. Trade liberalization means the reduction of barriers to trade. A strong argument for free trade came from the classical economist Ricardo's analysis of comparative advantage, which explains how trade will benefit both parties as countries, regions, or individuals if they have different opportunity costs of production.
Free trade is in contrast to protectionism, the economic policy of restricting trade between nations by high tariffs on imported or exported goods, restrictive quotas, a variety of restrictive government regulations designed to discourage imports and antidumping laws designed to protect domestic industries from foreign takeover or competition. Governments refer to managed international trade agreements as free trade and, though this is not really free trade, such treaties may result in a freer trade. As a term in economics and government, free trade includes the
- trade of goods without taxes, tariffs or other trade barriers: e.g. quotas on imports or subsidies for producers
- trade in services without taxes or other trade barriers
- absence of trade-distorting policies: taxes, subsidies, regulations or laws that give some firms, households, or factors of production an advantage over others
- free access to markets
- free access to market information
- inability of firms to distort markets through government-imposed monopoly and/or oligopoly power
- free movement of labor between and within countries and free movement of capital between and within countries.
Gemeinschaft: community: an association in which persons have an affinity with the large group as much or more than to their self-interest. Persons in gemeinschaft are regulated by common mores as beliefs about proper behavior and responsibility of members of the community to each other and the community at large. These associations have a kinship of affinity known as the unity of will.
Fernand Tönnies saw the family as the perfect expression of the gemeinschaft. However, he expected that the gemeinschaft would form on a shared place and belief as well as kinship. Thus, he included global religious communities as possible examples of gemeinschaft. A gemeinschaft is characterized by a moderate division of labor, strong personal relationships and families and simple social institutions. In such a society, due to the shared sense of loyalty that individuals feel for society, there is seldom a need to enforce social control externally.
Gesellschaft: society: an association in which the larger society and group never takes on more importance than an individual's self-interest. Thus, the lack of the same level of shared mores occurs. Gesellschaft is maintained through individuals acting in their own self-interest. Modern business functions as a gesellschaft. Its workers, managers and owners may share few of the same orientations or beliefs. They may not care much for the product they are making, but their shared self-interest is based on coming to their workplace for work, making money and expanding their business. Unlike the gemeinschaft, it emphasizes secondary relationships rather than familial or community ties and less individual loyalty to society. Social cohesion in a gesellschaft derives from a more complex division of labor. Such societies are more susceptible to class and ethnic conflict.
For Tönnies, gemeinschaft and gesellschaft are normal types, therefore he considered them a matter of pure sociology. However, in applied sociology doing empirical research, he expected to find nothing else than a mix of them. Nevertheless, following Tönnies, without normal types one might not be able to analyzer this mix.
Global Peace Studies: GPS: Peace and Global Studies and International Peace and Conflict Resolution: GPS is a new course curriculum at the university level is now offered as an advanced degree program at a growing number of schools worldwide. The major emphasis of the curriculum includes conflict resolution, international law, economics, ethics and nonviolence. The curriculum applies the social sciences of race and ethnicity, psychology, feminism, governance, human rights and sustainable ecology systems research. Peace studies is an interdisciplinary study of conflict prevention, de-escalation and resolution by peaceful means that seeks victory for all
actors in the conflict. Disciplines may include political science, geography, economics, psychology, sociology, international relations, history, anthropology, religious studies and gender studies and others. Peace and conflict studies is a social science that identifies and analyses violent and nonviolent behaviors and the structural mechanisms of social conflicts with a view towards understanding the processes which lead to a more desirable human condition.
Globalization: 1. the process by which regional economies, societies and cultures have become integrated through a global network of political ideas through communication, transportation and trade. Globalization is most often synonymous with the phrase economic globalization as the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology and military presence. However, globalization is driven by a combination of economic, technological, socio-cultural, political and biological factors. 2. Globalization refers to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation. An aspect of the world which has gone through the process can be said to be globalized. Against this view, an alternative approach points to trends in which globalization has actually decreased inter-cultural contacts while increasing the possibility of international and intra-nation conflict.
Gross domestic product: GDP: the measure of a the production of an economy in a given period, usually a year. GDP includes all goods and services produced in the country. Various systems of price calculation allow for international comparisons of GDP.
Beyond GDP: GDP fails as an overall indicator of progress because it fails to account for non-monetary economic activity such as the unpaid labor of women, volunteers, and ecosystems. GDP fails to add human beings and the environment in the asset column on the books of GDP. It omits:
- improvements in quality and inclusion of new products
- production as net detriments to the economy as detriments to environment, people, other products
- sustainability of growth
- the underground economy
- Wealth distribution
- non-monetary economies within cash economies
Hermeneutic: the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. In the usage of religious studies, hermeneutics refers to the study of the interpretation of religious texts. It is more broadly used in contemporary philosophy to denote the study of theories and methods of the interpretation of all texts and systems of meaning. Here, the concept of a text is extended beyond written documents to any number of objects subject to interpretation, such as experiences. A hermeneutic is also defined as a specific system or method for interpretation, or a specific theory of interpretation.
As a contemporary philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer wrote
The hermeneutic is an approach rather than a method. The hermeneutic circle is a central problem of interpretation. It involves improving our ability to 1) understand things from somebody else's point of view and 2) appreciate the cultural and social forces that may have influenced their outlook. Hermeneutics is the process of applying this understanding to the interpretation of the meanings of written texts and symbolic artifacts (such as sculpture), as either historic or contemporary. The meaning of hermeneutics and its range depends on precise definitions of 1) interpretation, 2) understanding and 3) point of view.
Hermeneutic double: (double hermeneutic) theory by sociologist Anthony Giddens: concept can have a common meaning and a more sophisticated meaning in the social sciences. The two meanings have a two-way relationship. An example is the idea of social class, social-scientific category that has come into wide use in society.
The double hermeneutic is a distinguishing feature of the social sciences. Giddens found that there is an important difference between the natural and social sciences. In the natural sciences, scientists try to understand and theorize about the way the natural world is structured. While humans may need to understand the actions of minerals or chemicals, they do not seek to understand us. Giddens refers to this as the single hermeneutic, which is attained by means interpretation and understanding. In contrast, the social sciences are engaged in the double hermeneutic. This is because each of different social sciences are studying people and society, although how they do that it varies significantly.
Some social sciences, such as sociology, study more than what people do. They study how people understand their world and how that understanding shapes what they do. People can think, make choices and use new information to revise their understandings. Thus, they can use the knowledge and insights of social science to change what they do. In outlining his notion of the double hermeneutic, Giddens explains that,
While philosophers and social scientists have often considered the way in which lay concepts obstinately intrude into the technical discourse of social science, few have considered the matter the other way around. The concepts of the social sciences are not produced by an independently constituted subject-matter, which continues regardless of what these concepts are. The findings of the social sciences very often enter as constitutive of the world they describe.Anthony Giddens, Social Theory and Modern Sociology. Cambridge, Polity Press, 1987
Homo economicus: economic man: in some economic theories, the concept that human beings are rational and self-interested actors who desire wealth, avoid unnecessary labor, and 1) have the ability to make judgments toward those ends and 2) have the choice of its domain of interest as the domain of intervention. As in the case of other abstract terms, definitions of Homo economicus depend on the consensus of their users and, thus, it may evolve.
Human action: 1. Voluntary, willful action as a deliberate, purposeful and mindful choice that comes via the human faculty of ethics, empathy, solidarity, participation and other aspects of the will. The human will seems to include the animal spirits of the entrepreneur who takes risks, of which Keynes noted. Both the volunteer and the entrepreneur are moved to action by some degree of ethical purpose and an ethics of care, justice and responsibility. Both can come to what Aristotle called the final cause as the human objective, the goal of perfect action and inaction (highest action: contemplation, rest) as happiness for all. The human action of the volunteer seems to be the direct model of the ethical good life that Aristotle conceived. The goal of human action can be achieved through the path of the entrepreneur, but it adds the risk of a corrupt ethics. One's practice of primary human action / inaction makes the secondary model of the entrepreneur safer and more rewarding in the lasting sense of the ethical good life. 2. a concept that rejects positivism within economics as it defends the a priori type of epistemology and underpins it with a foundation of methodological individualism and laws of the apodictic: absolute certainty. The concept was introduced in the book, A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises. He presents a case for laissez-faire capitalism based on his investigation of human decision-making. He argues that the free-market economy surpasses any government-planned system and the market serves as the foundation of civilization.
Mises sees economic calculation as the most basic problem in economics. The economic problem that Mises sees is one of action. Man acts to dispel feelings of uneasiness, but can only succeed in acting if he comprehends causal connections between the ends that he wants to satisfy and available means. The fact that man resides in a world of causality means that he faces definite choices as to how he satisfies his ends. Human action is an application of human reason to select the best means of satisfying ends. The reasoning mind evaluates and grades different options in the process of economic calculation, which is common to all people. Mises insisted that the logical structure of human minds is the same for everyone, which is not to say that all minds are the same. Man makes different value judgments and possesses different data, but logic is the same for all. Human reason and economic calculation have limitations, but Mises sees no alternative to economic calculation as a means of using scarce resources to improve our well being.
Human action concerns the dynamics of the opposite of action, which is contentment, though not inaction. In a fully contented state there would be no action, no efforts to change the existing order of things (which might be changed by ceasing to do some things). Man acts because he is never satisfied and will never stop because he can never be fully satisfied. Mises thought that modern economics is built on ideas of an analysis of what he named contentment equilibrium and conditions of indifference. Some economists construct models of dynamic equilibrium, but Mises views the idea of a dynamic equilibrium as an oxymoron. An actual equilibrium may involve a recurring cycle, but not true dynamics, which involve non-repeating evolutionary change. Mises explains dynamic change in terms of the plain state of rest, whereas, a final state of rest involves perfect plans to fully satisfy human desires. A plain state of rest is a temporary and imperfect equilibrium deriving from past human plans. Though any set of plans is imperfect, to act means attempting to improve each successive set of plans. Movement from one plain state of rest to another represents the process of change, either as evolution or devolution.
Human rights: the rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled as rights of birth. Proponents of the concept assert that everyone is endowed with certain entitlements due to being human. Human rights are thus conceived in a universalist and egalitarian fashion. Such rights can exist as shared norms of existing human morality, as justified moral norms or natural rights supported by strong reasons, or as legal rights as national and/or international law. However, there is no consensus as to exactly what should be regarded as a human right in any of the preceding senses. So, the abstract concept of human rights has brought forth much philosophical debate and criticism.
The modern concept of human rights developed in the aftermath of the World War II, in part, as a response to the holocaust of that war, culminating in its adoption by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948. However, while the phrase human rights is relatively modern, the intellectual foundations of the modern concept can be traced through the history of philosophy and the concepts of natural law, rights and liberties as far back as the city states of classical Greece and the development of Roman Law. The true forerunner of a discourse about human rights was the Enlightenment concept of natural rights developed by figures such as Locke and Kant and through the political realm in the United States Bill of Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.—Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
English philosopher Hobbes suggested the existence of a hypothetical social contract where a group of free individuals agree, for the sake of preservation, to form institutions of governance. They give up their natural complete liberty in exchange for protection from the sovereign. This led to John Locke's theory that a failure of the government to secure rights is a failure that justifies the removal of the government, which was echoed later as a postulation by Rousseau in his book, The Social Contract. International equity scholar, Paul Finn has echoed this view:
The relationship between government and the governed in countries which follow the English law tradition is a fiduciary relationship. In equity law, a politician's fiduciary obligations are not only the duties of good faith and loyalty, but also include duties of skill and competence in managing a country and its people. Originating from within the Courts of Equity, the concept of the fiduciary exists to prevent those holding positions of power from abusing their authority. The fiduciary relationship between government and the governed arises from the government’s ability to control people with the exercise of its power. In effect, if a government has the power to abolish any rights, it is equally burdened with the fiduciary duty to protect such an interest because it would benefit from the exercise of its own discretion to extinguish rights, which it alone had the power to dispose. In his essays On the Jewish Question, Marx criticized the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as bourgeois ideology:
The most fundamental fiduciary relationship in our society is manifestly that which exists between the community (the people) and the state, its agencies and officials.—Paul Finn
Above all, we note the fact that the so-called rights of man, the droits de l'homme as distinct from the droits du citoyen, are nothing but the rights of a member of civil society i.e., the rights of egoistic man, of man separated from other men and from the community. ... according to the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1791: Liberty consists in being able to do everything which does not harm others. Liberty, therefore, is the right to do everything that harms no one else. The limits within which anyone can act without harming someone else are defined by law, just as the boundary between two fields is determined by a boundary post.
Security is the supreme social concept of bourgeois society, the concept of the police, the whole society exists only to ensure each of its members the preservation of his person, his rights and his property.Marx realized that liberal rights and ideas of justice are premised on the idea that every person needs protection from other human beings; as such, liberal rights are rights of separation, designed to protect us from such perceived threats. Freedom on such a view is freedom from interference. What this view denies is the possibility — according to Marx, the fact — that real freedom is to be found positively in our relations with other people. It is to be found in human community, not in isolation. So, insisting on a regime of rights encourages us to view each other in ways which undermine the possibility of the real freedom we may find in human emancipation. Marxian critical theorist Slavoj Žižek asserts:
Liberal attitudes towards the other are characterized both by respect for otherness, openness to it and an obsessive fear of harassment. In short, the other is welcomed insofar as its presence is not intrusive, insofar as it is not really the other. Tolerance thus coincides with its opposite. My duty to be tolerant towards the other effectively means that I should not get too close to him or her, not intrude into his space—in short, that I should respect his intolerance towards my over-proximity. This is increasingly emerging as the central human right of advanced capitalist society: the right not to be harassed, that is, to be kept at a safe distance from others; furthermore, universal human rights are effectively the right of white, male property-owners to exchange freely on the market, exploit workers and women and exert political domination.
More in the paper: Human Rights after the Era of Keynesian Economics
Hume, David: (1711-1776) philosopher, economist and historian of the Scottish Enlightenment. Hume was a key theorist in Western philosophy. In his dialog about politics, Hume developed prevalent ideas in economics about private property, inflation and foreign trade. Hume rejected Locke's idea that private property is a natural right, though Hume did argue that property is justified due to the limits of resources. If goods were unlimited and freely available, then property would not be justified, but instead becomes idle. He backed the unequal distribution of property as he thought that perfect equality would suppress thrift and industry, thus, bringing poverty.
Hume denied that foreign trade produced a net monetary gain, but did consider trade as a stimulus for a country's economic growth. He did not consider the volume of world trade as a fixed amount because countries can benefit from their neighbors' wealth, as part of a prosperous community. The fall in foreign demand is not too critical because no country can keep a leading trading position. Hume was among the first to develop automatic price-money flow, an idea that stands in contrast to the mercantile system. For example, an increase of gold import causes the inflation of prices. This would force countries that would have traded before the inflation to stop trading, which would decrease the import of gold.
Hume proposed a theory of beneficial inflation because he believed that increasing the money supply would raise short-term production. This fact would occur due to a gap between the increase in the money supply and that of the price level. The result is that prices will not rise at first and may not rise at all. This theory was later developed by the 20th century economist, Keynes.
Humean: Hume was thought to be a framer of the logical positivist movement: a form of anti-metaphysical empiricism. The logical positivists hold that unless a statement can be proven by experience, or else was true or false by definition: true as a tautology or false as a contradiction then, a statement was meaningless. Thus, he was the positivist who tried to prove how ordinary theories and ideas as propositions about matter, causal relations, identity and the like have meanings equivalent to the facts about one's experiences.
Some theorists have since rejected that perception of the Hume's empiricism, choosing an epistemological, rather than a semantic reading of his work. In this view, his empiricism consisted in the idea that our knowledge is limited to what can be experienced and not our ability to conceive. Thus, he did hold that we can form beliefs about that which is beyond experience, through the use of faculties such as tradition and the imagination, but he was skeptical about using the beliefs as knowledge.
Immigrant rights: They are the human rights derived from natural laws that define the freedom of movement, migration, which includes economic rights, the right of return, self-determination and non-discrimination.
The leading NGO that work for the rights of Immigrants include:
National Alliance for Immigrants' Rights: Advocates for the legal status of all illegal immigrant workers in the United States pending Congressional enactment of a comprehensive immigration reform. Sign the NAIR petition for U.S. Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
Imperialism: the stage of capitalist development as a world system of exploitation reached in the late 1800's as a key factor that led up to WWI. It involves five main aspects: 1) the predominance of monopolythe large, highly centralized, powerful units of ownership and control over the organization of production and distribution, 2) the merging of banking capital and industrial capital into huge financial blocs, 3) the central importance of export capital to overall profitability, 4) the economic division of the world by large corporations, cartels, and the great powers into spheres of influence and 5) the complete territorial division of the world by the imperialist powers into colonies, neo-colonies and zones of influence so that a struggle between imperialist powers will re-divide, redraw the world.
Inclusion: In the economic sense, all people have access to a process in which they can obtain all the necessities to live a life of dignity. The needs include food, shelter, medicine, education, production (employment), association and so forth. Security for those needs being met is explicit in that guarantee of ownership of all of life’s essentials. Local production is explicit in that ownership as no one must migrate in order to find livelihood. Inclusion implies diversity, respect as cooperation, engagement as participation, the ethics of care and solidarity.
Indigenous rights: the rights in recognition of the special state of the original people prior to colonization. This includes the basic of physical survival and integrity and, by definition, includes the preservation of indigenous land, language, religion and other aspects of cultural heritage that are a part of the existence of the indigenous as a people. This definition forms the basis of an expression for advocacy of social organizations. Furthermore, it 1) forms a part of the national law in establishing the relation between a government and the right of self-determination among the indigenous people living within its borders, or 2) serves within international law as a protection against violation by actions of governments or groups of private interests.
Indigenous rights belong to indigenous peoples who are defined and identified as being the original inhabitants of a land invaded and colonized by outsiders. Exactly who is a part of the indigenous peoples is a a topic of discussion, but an absolute distinction as a definition can be understood in relation to colonialism. Indigenous people are the people of the pre-colonial societies who now face a specific threat from the fact of occupation and the relation that these original societies have with the colonial powers. In the context of modern indigenous people of European colonial powers, the recognition of indigenous rights can be traced to at least the period of the Renaissance. Along with the idea that colonialism is motivated and justified by a higher purpose for both the colonists and colonized, there is much concern over the way the indigenous people are treated, the effect it has on their society and the potential loss of human culture that is central to the diversity and survival of Homo sapiens.
The issues related to indigenous rights are associated with other levels of human struggle for biological continuity and diversity. Due to the close relationship between the cultural and economic circumstances of indigenous peoples and their habitat, indigenous rights issues are linked with concerns about ecological change, destruction and sustainable development. According to scientists and organizations such as the Rainforest Foundation, the struggle to keep indigenous people intact in their natural habitat is essential for reducing carbon emissions and approaching the threat on both cultural and biological diversity in general.
Individualism: a moral, political and social outlook
that promotes human independence and the importance of
self-reliance and liberty. Individualism promotes the exercise
of personal goals and desires. It opposes most external
interference with one's choices, whether by society, the state, or any other
group or institution. It, thus, opposes holism,
collectivism, socialism, fascism, communism, communalism,
statism, totalitarianism and the
communitarian, who holds that communal, community, group, societal, racial, or national goals should take priority over individual goals. Individualism opposes the view that tradition, religion, or any other form of external moral standard should be used to limit one's choices that are lawful.
The doctrine of economic individualism holds that each person should have autonomy in making economic decisions rather than the state or the community making those decisions for the person. It advocates the private ownership of property as opposed to state or collective arrangements. Capitalism is an economic system based,in general, on these views. Laissez-faire capitalism is the specific ideology that adheres to the views of economic individualism. Corporations gain the legal status of a individual with the same rights, although not necessarily the same responsibilities, obligations and accountability.
Industrial revolution: the first occurred in the late 18th, early 19th centuries with major changes in manufacturing, transportation and agriculture. It has had a profound effect on socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain and spread throughout Europe and North America, then the world. Industrial revolutions continue to occur is process of industrialization as market growth. The onset of it marked a major turning point in human social history, comparable to the invention of farming at the dawn of civilization or the rise of the first city-states; with almost every aspect of life and human society touched by those events in some way.
In the late 18th C, the economy based upon manual labor of Britain began to give way to one dominated by industry and the manufacture of machinery. It started with 1) the mechanization of the textile industries, 2) the development of iron-making techniques and 3) the increased use of refined coal. Rapid trade expansion occurred by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. The introduction of steam power fuelled by coal, which powered machinery for textile manufacture and transportation, underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity. The advance of metal machine tools in the first two decades of the 19th century facilitated the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing in other industries. The effects spread throughout Western Europe and North America during the 19th century, affecting most of the world. The impact of this change upon society was vast and intense.
The first merged into a second circa 1850 when technological and economic progress gained momentum with the development of steam-powered ships, railways and later in the 19th century with the internal combustion engine and electrical power generation. The period of time that frames it varies with specific historical theory with one claim that it began in the 1780s and was not fully felt until the 1830s or 1840s. Another view puts the start date between 1760 and 1830. Some 20th century historians argue that the process of economic and social change took place gradually and that the term revolution is not a true description of what took place, which brings forth more debate among historians. GDP per capita was largely stable before it occurred and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy. It began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist economies.
Inflation: The rise in the overall price of goods and services in an economy over a period of time as each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Inflation reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a loss of real value in the internal medium of exchange and unit of account in the economy. The measure of price inflation is the annual percentage change the consumer price index over time. A high inflation rate is caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. The factors that cause low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied e.g., 1) fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, 2) changes in available supplies such as during scarcities and 3) growth in the money supply. But, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth. Usually, more employment brings inflation; more unemployment with less money in the consumer economy brings less inflation.
The effects of inflation on an economy are various and can be at once positive and negative. Negative effects include a decrease in the real value of money and other monetary items over time, uncertainty over future inflation may discourage investment and savings and high inflation may lead to shortages of goods if consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include ensuring central banks can adjust nominal interest rates intended to mitigate recessions and encouraging investment in non-monetary capital projects.
Input-output model: a matrix representation of the economy of a nation or region to predict the effect of changes in one industry on other industries. The I/O also predicts the effect of the changes made by consumers, government and foreign suppliers on the economy. When applied to a region, the I/O is a Regional Impact Multiplier System. Input-output analysis considers the relations between industries in an economy. It shows how the output of one industry goes to another industry where it serves as an input, which makes one industry dependent on other industries both as customer of output and as supplier of inputs. An input-output model is a specific formulation of input-output analysis.
International division of labor: IDL: the increased specialization of labor worldwide as a labor market that is willing and anxious to cooperate into specific, restrained tasks and roles to increase efficiency of output. The growth of an increasingly complex division of labor is tied to the 1) growth of trade, 2) rise of capitalism and 3) complexity of process of industrialization. The IDL makes trade essential and is the source of economic dominance and interdependence. The fact of IDL is due to market forces, such as competition, that drive productivity increases in any production process from consumer goods to biotechnology to services such as law and medicine.
Division of labor reaches the broadest scope in the controversy about globalization, often interpreted as a euphemism for the expansion of world trade based on comparative advantage, the practice of which would mean that countries specialize in the work they do best. However, critics allege that international specialization cannot be explained in terms of the work that nations do best. Rather, this specialization is guided more by commercial criteria, e.g., environmental and labor laws, which favor some countries over others. In 2005, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: OECD, advised that:
Efficient policies to encourage employment and combat unemployment are essential if countries are to reap the full benefits of globalization and avoid a backlash against open trade... Job losses in some sectors, along with new job opportunities in other sectors, are an inevitable accompaniment of the process of globalization... The challenge is to ensure that the adjustment process involved in matching available workers with new job openings works as smoothly as possible.
One independent study found that about 2.5 million people worked in the global non-domestic labor force in the mid-1990s. Of these, about 16% worked in industry, 34% worked in services and 41%, or 1,074 million, in agriculture. The majority of workers in industry and services earned wages or salary, which was 58% of the industrial workforce and 65% of the service sector. Other workers earn one a day or piecemeal as payment for each unit of product or service unit they produce. The study showed a large part of the workforce as self-employed or part of a family-ownership without a business hierarchy. The approximate total of employees worldwide in the 1990s was 880 million compared with roughly one billion as self-sufficient peasants on the land and some 480 million self-employed in industry and services.
The division of labor has reached the level of a management practice with the science basis of the time and motion studies associated with Taylorism. Productivity gains occur from the division of labor within any type of production process, from toothpick manufacture to software production to legal practice and medical care. Scientific management, as Taylorism or the classical perspective, is a management theory that analyses and synthesizes workflow processes to improve labor productivity. The core ideas of the theory, developed by F. W. Taylor in were published in Principles of Scientific Management (1911). He believed that decisions based on tradition and convention should be replaced by precise procedures developed after careful study of an individual at work. In management books today, Taylorism serves largely as contrast to a new, improved way of doing business. In political and sociological terms, Taylorism brings division of labor to its logical extreme with a consequence of de-skilling workers and dehumanizing the workplace. Scientific management may fail if it ignores two dilemmas inherent in the workplace: (1. Individual differences: the most efficient way that one person works may be inefficient for another, 2). The economic interests of workers and management are rarely the same; thus, a workforce would likely resent and might even sabotage the measurement process, restraining and retraining that Taylor's methods require.International Labor Organization: ILO: a specialized agency of the UN that deals with labor issues. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969. Some academics and activists have criticized the ILO for creating a false division between different international labor standards. Many of these cover specific and concrete human rights topics, yet were excluded from the 1998 declaration, e.g., those about health, safety and work hours. Furthermore, most of the new core conventions are deemed human rights, whereas before all international labor standards were viewed as labor rights.
The Governing Body of the ILO has categorized the body of international labor standard conventions and recommendations. The categorization continues to be of a technical nature, rather than a prioritisation, with some standards as more important than others. With the fall of the USSR in the late 1980s, a perceived need to prioritise standards gained acceptance. The view in some groups was that globalization would put pressure on real labor standards and the ILO needed now to take to heart its mandate to improve them. This view was held in the light of the erratic ratification of some of the aspects of the standards. Although there were significant numbers of ratifications, there were many ILO conventions which did not attract large numbers of ratifications. These included instruments that many would recognize as significant. The task began to reach a consensus about 1) what the priority standards would be, 2) how they would be enunciated as such and 3) what mechanisms would be used to either enforce or promote them. The task was difficult within the ILO as workers, employers and government groups all taking different positions.
These views were debated in the work of the ILO's Governing Body on the Social Dimensions of International Trade (now the Working Party on the Social Dimensions of Globalization) during the period. There were also major splits along the lines that divide the developing countries from the industrialized. The major first consensus was reflected in the UN World Social Summit held in Copenhagen in March, 1995. Commitment #3 of the closing Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development, Part C: Commitments, identified the four subject areas that were to be repeated in 1998 inside the ILO's Declaration. In this context, the criticism of the ILO Declaration has to be assessed. In the event, there is now almost universal ratification of the relevant 8 ILO Conventions, thereby bringing regular international supervision to bear on their implementation. A number of key countries, in terms of economic strength and sizable working populations, continue to resist ratification of the vital conventions. An essential question applies to those countries in terms of the obligations under the declaration, a central issue facing the world because the effects are enormous.
International Monetary Fund: IMF: the intergovernmental organization that oversees the global financial system in adherence to the macroeconomic policies of its member countries. In particular, the IMF oversees the policies of countries with an impact on exchange rate and balance of payments. It is an organization formed with a stated objective of stabilizing international exchange rates and facilitating development through the enforcement of liberalizing the economic policies of other countries as a precondition for loans, restructuring, or aid. The IMF, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., offers highly leveraged loans to poor, developing and third world countries. Its vast influence in world affairs and development has drawn continuous criticism for its practices, such as structural adjustment.
Created in July 1945 with 45 members, the IMF had the goal of stabilizing exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world's international payment system. Countries contributed to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances. The IMF was of value during its first few years because it helped stabilize the world economic system. It would appear to be, as self-described in 2010 "… an organization of 187 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment with sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty".
International trade: IT: the exchange of goods and services across the borders of countries or territories; in most countries, it represents a significant share of GDP. While IT has been present throughout much of history (e.g., the Silk Road), its economic, social and political importance has grown rapidly in recent centuries. Industrialization, advanced transportation, globalization, multinational corporations and outsourcing have all had a major impact on the IT system. Increasing IT is crucial to the continuity of globalization as a major source of economic revenue for any nation considered a world power. Without IT, countries would be limited to the goods and services produced within their own borders. IT is a branch of economics, which together with international finance forms the larger branch of international economics. Several different models have been proposed to predict patterns of trade and to analyse the effects of trade policies, such as tariffs.
International trade theory: (ITT) the Ricardo model (RM) as the theory and practice of comparative advantage is the most significant model of ITT. Countries that use the RM model specialize in producing what they produce best. Unlike other models, the RM framework predicts that countries will specialize instead of producing a broad array of goods. In addition, the RM does not directly consider factor endowments, such as the relative amounts of labor and capital within a country.
The Heckscher-Ohlin model emerged as an alternative to the RM of basic comparative advantage. Despite its greater complexity, it did not prove much more accurate in its predictions. However, from a theoretical point of view it did provide an elegant solution by incorporating the neoclassical price mechanism into IT theory. H-O argues that the pattern of IT is determined by differences in factor endowments. It predicts that countries will export those goods that make intensive use of locally abundant factors and will import goods that make intensive use of factors that are locally scarce. Experiential problems with the H-O model, known as the Leontief Paradox, were exposed in empirical tests by Wassily Leontief who found that the U.S. tended to export labor-intensive goods despite having an abundance of capital .
In the specific factors theory, labor mobility between industries can occur while capital is immobile between industries in the short-run. In that sense, this model is a short-run version of the H-O model. Specific factors refers to the given that in the short-run specific factors of production, such as physical capital, do not transfer easily from one industry to another. The theory suggests that when the price of a good increases, the owners of the factor of production specific to that good will profit in real terms. In addition, owners of opposing specific factors of production: labor and capital are likely to have opposing agendas when lobbying for controls over the immigration of labor. Conversely, owners of capital and labor both gain in real terms from an increase in the capital endowment. This model is ideal for particular industries and understanding income distribution. However, it is awkward for the discussion of the patterns of trade.
The new trade theory tries to explain several facts about trade that the two primary theory models, described previously, have difficulty. These include the fact that most trade is between countries that have a similar factor endowment, productivity levels and a large amount of multinational production as foreign direct investment. In one example of this framework, the economy exhibits monopolistic competition and an increasing returns to scale.
The gravity model of trade theory uses a more empirical analysis of trading patterns, instead of the more theoretical means in the two previous models. In its basic form, the gravity model predicts trade based on the distance between countries and the interaction of the economic sizes of the countries. The model uses Newton's law of gravity, which uses the distance between and the contrast of physical size of two objects as the criteria for the measure of the force of gravity. The model shows empirical strength through econometric analysis. Other factors such as income level, diplomatic relations between countries and trade policies are included in expanded versions of the model.
The regulation of international trade had been through bilateral treaties twixt nations. For centuries under the belief in mercantilism, most nations had high tariffs and many restrictions on IT. In the 19th century, the belief in favor of free trade became paramount, especially in Britain. Since then, this belief into mindset has become the dominant thinking among Western nations, despite the acknowledgment that the adoption of the policy coincided with the economic decline of Great Britain. In the years since WWII, controversial multilateral treaties such as the GATT and WTO have been launched to regulate the global trade structure. These trade agreements often result in protest and charges of unfair trade that benefits only the corporations engaged in it.
During economic recessions, a strong domestic pressure often occurs to increase tariffs to protect domestic industries. This occurred worldwide during the Great Depression. Since then, many economic analysts have attempted to portray tariffs as the underlining reason behind the collapse in world trade. Many of the same analysts believe that the increased use of tariffs deepened the depression.
The regulation of IT is done through the WTO at the global level and through several other regional arrangements such as MERCOSUR in South America, NAFTA between the U.S., Canada and Mexico and the European Union of the 27 independent states. In 2005, the Buenos Aires Conference was the plan to establish the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The FTAA failed, largely due to opposition from the populations of Latin American nations. Similar agreements, such as the MAI: Multilateral Agreement on Investment, have failed in recent years.
Invisible hand of the market: describes the self-regulating nature of the marketplace as a metaphor conceived by the economist Adam Smith in his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. For Smith, the invisible hand came about by the conjunction of the forces of self-interest, competition and supply and demand, which are capable of allocating resources in society. This is the founding justification for the laissez-faire economic philosophy as opposed to protectionism as regulation and other government intervention.
Jubilee 2000: an international coalition movement in over 40 countries called for cancellation of third-world debt by the year 2000. The aim of Jubilee 2k was to wipe out $90bn of debt owed by the world's poorest nations, reducing the total to $37bn. From early 2001, Jubilee 2000 split into an array of organizations around the world. The movement coincided with the Great Jubilee: the celebration of the year 2000 in the Catholic Church. The concept comes from the biblical idea of the year of Jubilee: the 50th year. In the Jubilee Year as quoted in Leviticus, those enslaved because of debts are freed, lands lost because of debt are returned and community torn by inequality is restored. The idea was first articulated by Martin Dent, a retired lecturer in politics at the University of Keele, who linked the biblical Jubilee to a modern debt relief program and founded the Jubilee 2000 campaign in the early 1990s.
The activities were at first directed through churches and soon gained wide prevalence by spreading messages about the hardship caused by debts among diverse sectors of the public. Youth groups in particular became quite involved, which reversed the view of young people as apolitical or apathetic. Campaigns were launched via a secretariat in the UK, franchising the trademark of Jubilee 2000 to any who sought to direct a campaign in the spirit of it. Well known supporters of the movement included Bono, Quincy Jones, Willie Colón, Muhammad Ali, Bob Geldof, Youssou N'dour, Thom Yorke, N. T. Wright and Walter Sobcheck.
Jubilee 2000 staged demonstrations at the 1998 G-8 meeting in Birmingham, England. The G-8 as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Russia represent a majority of the world's economy and holds summits to discuss various global issues. The Birmingham G-8 Summit focused, in part, on achieving sustainable growth in the context of environmental protection and good governance. Nearby, about 70,000 demonstrators participated in a peaceful protest in an effort to put debt relief on the G-8 agenda. The protest and details of the demands made news headlines worldwide, which increased global awareness of the issue. The principles upheld by the protestors persuaded Prime Minister Blair who, in that moment, expressed his support for and dedication to debt forgiveness. Other notable successes that resulted, at least in part, from Jubilee 2000 pressure, included a promise by the United States during the G-7 meeting (Russia excluded) in Cologne, Germany in 1999 to cancel 100% of the debt that qualifying countries owed to the United States. Jubilee lobbied the United States Congress to keep this promise, which led to $769 million United States commitment to bilateral and multilateral debt relief.