Dr. Aguirre Highlights Implications of Dignity for International Development

NOTRE DAME, IN - On October 22-24, Maria Sophia Aguirre, professor of economics at the Catholic University of America, was a major contributor at the second international Human Dignity and Human Development Conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies. The conference is part of a multi-year research initiative investigating the role of human dignity in the practice of international development.

Aguirre related the importance of human dignity to integral economic development. "Integral sustainable development incorporates an integral vision of the person," she said. "It focuses on the economic agent’s decision process, acknowledging her in her social dimension. It seeks to respect the dignity of the human, strengthen the family, and foster civil and social responsibility."

At the conference, development practitioners and scholars examined the implications of human dignity for development theory and practice, considering whether human dignity can serve as a common connector among predominant development frameworks, including the capability, wellbeing, and happiness approaches.

"Approaching human development from the perspective of human dignity serves as a locus across differences that might otherwise be intractable in the global environment," said Kellogg Institute Director and legal scholar Paolo Carozza, who leads the initiative.

Part of a series of gatherings that make up the larger research initiative, the conference aspires to produce viable recommendations for implementing the emphasis on human dignity explicit in the United Nations’ post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies, part of the University of Notre Dame's new Keough School of Global Affairs, is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and students from across the University and around the world that promotes research, provides educational opportunities, and builds linkages related to two topics critical to our world -- democracy and human development.

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