Navigate / search

Podcast: Professor Clive George talks about TTIP

Professor Clive George, the author of the book ‘The Truth About Trade’ talks about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which is a series of trade negotiations that are being carried out the European Union and the United States. Many of these negotiations are being carried out in secret and they have sparked some controversy about their nature and outcomes.

As a trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business and covers areas like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. In an age where companies are starting to sue countries for loss of profit, these negotiations should be thought about deeply. For example Bayer has sued the European Commission to attempt to overturn a ban on the pesticides they produce that are killing millions of bees.

Read more

Education As A Public Good: A Digest

Broader approaches to societal development are often harder to “sell” than narrowly focused reforms that try to achieve “one thing at a time”. This may help to explain why the powerful intellectual leadership of Manmohan Singh in bringing about the needed economic reforms in India in 1991 was so concentrated on “liberalization” only, without a corresponding focus on the much needed broadening of social opportunities.

Read more

Rationality, Economics and Violence: A Social and Environmental Philosophy by Kenneth Wilson

The previous chapter discussed aspects of scientific rationality. This chapter continues the theme of rationality by discussing its economic form. The main concern is that the concept of rationality involved in laissez-faire capitalism turns out to be less than rational. Let me give an example of how economic “rationality” can be found wanting. This example relies on an interpretation of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. As Joel E. Cohen notes,

Read more

Education, Welfare and Economics: A Human Capabilities View

In terms of welfare, the human capabilities approach was developed as a means of measuring the opportunities open to an individual and through that, the welfare of a society. Two of the major authors in the capabilities approach are Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Popular metrics which gets conflated with the status of a nation’s welfare is that of Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Read more