They can be choosers: Aid, Levinas and Unconditional Cash Transfers

  • Julio Andrade Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Levinas, UCTs (Unconditional Cash Transfers), aid programmes, Malawi


In this paper I seek to critically examine UCT’s and CCT’s and consider how a Levinasian ethics might offer normative guidelines to evaluate such aid programmes. Such an analysis will serve to both critique and supplement the traditional utilitarian analyses of such programmes. In so doing, this paper also hopes to contribute to the business ethics literature in which a Levinasian ethics may be brought to bear on real world problems. I proceed by enlisting Jordaan (2009) who argues that a Levinasian ethical politics can be instantiated in institutional designs by allowing a more complex representation of the other’s alterity. Two UCT programmes are interrogated in light of this finding – the first, a UCT programme in a community in Vietnam; the second, a joint CCT/UCT programme targeting adolescent girls in Malawi, designed to test the efficacy of conditionality to achieve certain.


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