Globalisation and Pakistan’s Dilemma of Development (Distinguished Lecture)

I open Peter Singer’s One World: The Ethics of Globalization to a ‘local’ and a ‘global’ text, and am thereby led to argue that problems of poverty, inequality, governance, corruption, transparency, tolerance, growth and welfare, and more generally of justice and freedom, be they economic or political, are not the monopoly or ward of a particular region, packages to be pried open by the language of economic theory alone. They rather demand an acknowledgement that an economy is also a society, a polity, a community, a collectivity in short; and a conceptual recognition by agents, albeit embodied with their own needs and desires, that is correspondingly capacious. Thus, to move beyond conception to fruition, theory, of necessity, can hardly ignore values garnered from the past, ethics, and therefore texts, local to the collectivity, that make its past come alive.