In this talk, Professor Temkin will present some worries about global efforts to aid the needy in the world’s most desperate regions. Among the worries he addresses are: unintended negative consequences that may occur elsewhere in a society when aid agencies hire highly qualified locals to promote their agendas; foreign interests having undue influence on a country’s priorities, negatively impacting local autonomy; and outside interventions undermining the responsiveness of governments to their citizens.
Professor Temkin will also discuss the disturbing possibility that if each of us, individually, does what we have most reason to do, morally, in aiding the needy, we, together, may bring about an outcome which is worse, morally, in terms of its overall impact on the global needy. Finally, he discusses the moral disaster that was Goma—a stark reminder that worries about global aid do not merely concern abstract theoretical possibilities.
Professor Temkin has long argued, and continues to believe, that those who are well off are open to serious moral criticism if they ignore the plight of the global needy. Unfortunately, however, as this talk illustrates, what one should do in light of that truth is much more complex, and murky, than most people have realized.