Information Technology and the Ethics of Globalization

Robert Schultz
InSITE 2008  •  Volume 8  •  2008
Globalization, the coalescence of the economies and cultures of this planet, has raised new ethical issues. Information Technology (IT) is an enabler of globalization, but IT also produces new ethical problems. There is already a substantial literature in philosophy and political theory on globalized ethics, but not much on IT’s special impact on globalized ethics. This paper is a sketch of the main argument of a book I am writing on this topic. I first give examples of to show how these IT-enabled global ethical problems come about. Then, in the second and third parts of the paper I briefly summarize the main theories of globalized ethics and show their inadequacies in dealing with IT-enabled global ethical problems. In the final part, I sketch a social contract approach which can begin to deal with these IT-enabled global ethical problems. This approach derives from the work of John Rawls (1999a) on justice.
Information Technology, Globalization, Ethics, Justice, Social Contract, Rawls, Utilitarianism, Global Institutions
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