By Katy TerBerg
On Wednesday, April 18 from 3:30-5 p.m., Dr. Paul Clements will give a presentation titled “Rawlsian Political Analysis and the Causes of Poverty in Bihar” in the Department of Political Science Library in 3301
Dr. Clements, professor of political science and director of the Masters of International Development Administration program at WMU, will discuss the contents of his book, “Rawlsian Political Analysis: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science,” which will be published in June by the University of Notre Dame Press.
The book will focus on extending philosopher John Rawls’ critique of utilitarian philosophy. Clements will use the theories of John Rawls and Immanuel Kant to address problems in rational choice theory and neoclassical economics and explain how the Kantian model of practical reason provides a firmer foundation for social analysis than the model of rational utility maximization that underlies neoclassical economic theory.
Clements will give an overview of the book’s theories and will explain how these different approaches could be used to explain the causes of poverty in the Indian state of Bihar, where a majority of the population consists of people under the age of 25 and below the poverty line. Bihar, unpopular to much of the rest of India due to its ineffectual economic arrangements and widespread social conflict, has made some economic progress, but it still lags behind other Indian states in terms of growth.
The causes of poverty in any sector are difficult to determine, but Clements will explore some factors revealed by Rawlsian analysis and apply them to Bihar’s current crisis.
The event is free and open to the public.