The recent financial crisis, the outrageous ongoing human right violations, continuous detriment to the environment and global terrorism threats are constant problems whose magnitude indicate from our perspective the beginning of a new era. The principal characteristic of this stage is the dimension of the perilous effects that these problems have brought to earth and society. Undoubtedly there is a connection among these problems and our task will consist in constructing a framework composed of philosophical, ethical, political and economical tools to tackle these new global challenges. Our intention is not only to describe the state of these issues but to propose solutions from a multidisciplinary optic.
We consider necessary that a critical review of Utilitarianism and Capitalism is to be made. From our perspective, the recent economical and financial crisis evidence the need to move beyond the hazardous effects of capitalism. Such option is only possible by tackling the ethical support of this economical system, that is of course, utilitarianism. Without any doubt, it is human behavior what has caused the latest economical turmoil. Thus, we consider as one of the most important objectives to discuss alternatives to utilitarianism as the prevalent ethical movement. To achieve this we believe as pertinent to discuss a historical recount of utilitarianism principally taking into account its progressive and definite penetration in society. This will be done exposing the most important utilitarian defenders and its final fusion as capitalism backbone. Our intention is to explain past critiques towards the utilitarian approach such as the ones present in John Rawls a theory of justice or in Amartya Sen´s work. This analysis will principally take into consideration why alternative theories have not been successful. Moreover, this study will discuss the present alternatives and to propose ways from an economical, political, sociological philosophical ways on how to introduce them in society. Finally, an analysis regarding the relationship between utilitarianism, capitalism and the recent economical and financial crisis will be made. We will explain how the prevailing utilitarian approach has let to recent catastrophic events and we will take as well a multidisciplinary approach to identify the different solutions present to amalgamate this problem ( For example intervention of the state, self regulation or social responsibility ideal)
From our point of view human rights hold a close relationship with ethics, as the latter finds a normative representation in the former. We believe human rights also play a crucial role in the path towards a more just, equitable society. Certainly there is already a vast amount of research regarding their history, their concept and even the necessary need for their implementation. Despite these efforts and considering the nature of the latest economic and financial crisis and the ongoing human right violations we would like to undertake a different approach to their study, taking into account considerations that, even if they have been dealt with until present day we believe a more in depth research could be done. In order to achieve this we believe it is critical to undertake a research on the historical approach of Human Rights and their relationship with corporate activity. Only with a strong profound historical review of this relationship we will be able to get a sincere approach of corporate behavior towards human rights. We believe that this perspective will allow us to notice the deficits of this behavior and will consequently allow us to propose more appropriate solutions. After this study we will examine the possibilities to strengthen effectively the implementation of human rights in corporate activity, undertaking a crucial study of the present alternatives and proposing new solutions. These solutions will necessarily take in consideration the role of international Financial Institutions, International Tribunals and NGO´s in the effective and global enforcement of human rights. In the search for solutions we will also study what from our point of view is a relevant and very conflictive issue: How to foster human rights maintaining peace and national sovereignty in developing countries. Finally we will like to present the relationship between human rights, ethics, liberties and economic development exposing existing theories and developing, one more in touch with contemporary problems.
Another important topic we will like to discuss is the role of democracy during and after the financial crisis. Democracy has been the scenario of the mentioned turmoil and we believe this is an important opportunity to discuss the impact that this event has had over some of its essential Institutions. The fact that the financial crisis emerged from stable democratic countries demonstrate the need to undertake a serious study regarding the means to monitor corporate activity and to evaluate the present mechanisms to secure its transparency. An assessment of the decisions taken to solve the crisis is the United States and in Europe should be made as well as a study on the impact on human development. Moreover from a sociological, legal and economical point of view the effects that the crisis has had on national and regional governance. Finally we believe special considerations should be made regarding special vulnerable collectives: Workers and Inmigrants.
Researchers, academics and policy makers have achieved important advances to move towards a new regulatory era. We believe the latest financial scandal necessarily entails the creation of a new social contract between society and the financial sector. Thus, our discussion regarding the new regulatory framework should focus on the protection of consumers, tax payers and families. To achieve this we will carefully examine the regulatory proposals to enhance the protection of the civil society as well as to suggest new alternatives. Of course, this study should take into consideration the Global aspect of the financial crisis. This certainly adds complexity to our analysis as we will have to take into consideration different global scenarios in our study. For this reason we will undertake the effects of this analysis in North America, South America,Europe and Asia.