“Consequentialist perspective” of economists and Human Rights

Is the language of rights useful in discussing poverty? Economists seem to claim these days that the rights approach may undermine the cause

I encountered many economists writing tentatively about human rights these days. Perhaps there is an extensive literature about it already. The main premise of arguments seems to be while the ideals of human rights are good, the approach will only impair the reduction of poverty by advocating unsound policies. Amartya Sen responds to these issues in a debate with Jeffry Frankel at Harvard University. Webcast of debate is available. The programme runs for an hour and fifteen minutes.

Many talks and interviews with well known people are now available online. I’ve put together a series of them that I have specially enjoyed. To see the rest, click here

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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