The recurring image throughout the developing world is one of the disintegration of civil order debilitating leaders into a crisis of governance. Not a day goes by without extensive media coverage of some form of corruption, perceived or real, concerning the lack of productivity and/or increasing incidences of fraud and unethical behavior. An Ethical Turn in Governance: The Call for a New Development Narrative posits that the intensification of this crisis is compatible with the root cause of capitalist modernization with its rapid and disorientating changes. To mitigate the accompanying effects, a call is made for [re]conceptualization of the search for a solution through incorporating and strengthening the value of an ethical consciousness in our thinking and policies of governance. The idea is an urgent possibility, perhaps even a controversial and ambitious proposal, for countries to begin imagining how it might be brought about and what it would look like. The central aim and objective is to move toward a framework for continued theory development and empirical research, thereby offering a new narrative on governance and, by extension, development. Recognizing that the inclusion of an ethical turn in governance is fraught with difficulty because of the different opinions, the relativism of different value systems, and options identified often derived from the perspectives of various stakeholders, a call is made for an interactive discourse in the public sphere. The argument advanced is that a body politic with sensible social values germane to the policy process is the best way in which human conduct is ordered, guided, and appraised in order to live together in well-functioning societies critical for the success of any democracy.
Pearson A. Broome is in the department of government, sociology and social work at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
Chapter 1: The Vulnerability of Governance in the Caribbean: Threats to sustainability
Chapter 2: What’s in an Ethical Turn?
Chapter 3: The Intellectual Bias Against Ethics
Chapter 4: Whence We’ve come: The Systemic Dimensions of Modernization
Chapter 5: Modernization and Its Institutional Manifestations on The Liberal Democratic State
Chapter 6: The Unintended Consequences (Paradoxes) of Good Governance
Chapter 7: The Paradox of Democracy: When Democracy Can Undermine Good Governance
Chapter 8: Conclusion: Governing Without Government?
There are rising governance concerns in many Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Broome, who has in-depth expertise in regional governance efforts, argues that a lack of focus on ethical consciousness has hindered the development of a regional framework and stifled enthusiasm for new initiatives. He identifies a number of failed and vulnerable states that have not achieved sustainable institutional capacity, curbed corruption or reduced crime, or lifted people out of poverty. Broome asserts that Caribbean countries have often adopted corporatist and consumerist approaches to engage in the global economy. As a political theorist, he is critical of management science for neglecting ethical approaches to governance, and the field of development ethics is not focused enough on corruption problems. Broome offers an ethical institutional framework to shift scholarship, as much as applied governance, toward combating what he calls an epistemological and ontological crisis. The chapter notes provide context for readers unfamiliar with the historical details of CARICOM countries, but the book is probably most useful to scholars already well versed in Caribbean governance issues. The text may also be relevant to those studying other developing regions and to critics of neoliberalism. Highly recommended. Researchers and faculty.