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Fair Trade and the Fetishization of Levinasian Ethics


  • Jerome Ballet
  • Delphine Pouchain


A recent paper in the Journal of business ethics (Staricco 2016) measures fair trade against Levinasian ethics. Our paper is a critic of that paper. We want to show that (1) Levinasian ethics is not necessarily the best normative reference for evaluating fair trade. This means that his fetishisation of Levinasian ethics in fair trade is not a valid idea, (2) the author commits a methodological error when he argues that fair trade should be evaluated with regard to an ideal normative criterion, and (3) his distorted view of fair trade does not accurately reflect the fair trade movement, and he commits another methodological error by confusing fair trade with a sole practice, whereas the movement is based on a multiplicity of ramifications and practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerome Ballet & Delphine Pouchain, 2018. "Fair Trade and the Fetishization of Levinasian Ethics," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2018-01, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2018-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raluca Dragusanu & Daniele Giovannucci & Nathan Nunn, 2014. "The Economics of Fair Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 217-236, Summer.
    2. repec:hrv:faseco:33077828 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jérôme Ballet & Aurélie Carimentrand, 2010. "Fair Trade and the Depersonalization of Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 317-330, April.
    4. Juliane Reinecke & Shaz Ansari, 2015. "What Is a “Fair” Price? Ethics as Sensemaking," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 867-888, June.
    5. Juan Ignacio Staricco, 2016. "Fair Trade and the Fetishization of Levinasian Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 1-16, September.
    6. Damien Bazin, 2006. "L'éthique économique," Post-Print halshs-00727581, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Doyen & Christophe Béné, 2018. "A generic metric of resilience from resistance to transformation," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2018-03, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).

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    More about this item


    Fair trade; Levinas; Justice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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