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Moral political economy and moral reasoning about rural India: four theoretical schools compared

  • Wendy Olsen

This paper explores a pluralist approach to moral economy in two ways. First, as a review, four major schools of thought on the rental of land in India are described. I focus on their normative and ontic assumptions. Second, noting that none of these schools is value-neutral, a plurality of six complex moral reasoning strategies emerge from this review. The advantage of the social researcher doing an overview of these normative positions is that we can compare and contrast the meta-criteria that are used. The six moral reasoning strategies are a neoliberal growth strategy, a human capabilities approach, a redistribution approach, a transformative approach, a social equality approach, and a Pareto-optimality approach. The study of these six strategies leads toward the conclusion that more research on complex moral reasoning strategies is called for, because combining them rapidly leads to difficulties. Scientific research can provide evidence to underpin and shape the moral reasoning that takes place in real-world dialogues and debates. Copyright The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/ben048
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 875-902

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:33:y:2009:i:5:p:875-902
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