'The moral quality of work in international economic institutions: resisting complacency

Oche Onazi, Maksymilian Del Mar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a theory through which, we argue, we can more appropriately evaluate and potentially improve the moral quality of work. There are three components to such a theory. The first two components, which we argue need to be integrated, are normative resources that appeal to two different behavioural capacities: first, the articulation of rules, appealing to the capacity of agents to deliberate about what they ought to do; second, the introduction of forms of institutional design, appealing to the capacity of agents to acquire habits and dispositions in certain social environments. The third and most important component is that of the infinity of suffering and vulnerability. This component has both a negative and a positive aspect. On the negative side, the component is designed to assist us in recognising the inevitable limitations of either normative resource or indeed any one integrated totality of normative resources (i.e., both rules and forms of institutional design). Those limitations consist in the narrowing of the domain of objects of value towards which workers are guided or oriented by either or both normative resources. On the positive side, the component encourages us to construct alternative normative resources on the basis of alternative forms of representation of suffering and vulnerability. In that respect, the specific policy proposal of this paper is that of the establishment of Community Forums, which are designed to offer a framework thanks to which some of the particularities of suffering and vulnerability within a specific community can be recognised and communicated in a multiplicity of ways, thereafter forming a resource for the development of policy with respect to the challenges facing that specific community. The second part of the paper applies this theory to consider the value and limitations of second-generation reforms in international economic institutions. The third part of the paper further
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-372
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Law in Context
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


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