Global Development Policies and Social Injustice

Anna Malavisi, Michigan State University


The Sixth Goal of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases such as tuberculosis. In Bolivia, a country with a population of over 8,000,000 people, it was claimed in 2006 that there were 2366 confirmed cases of HIV. According to the World Health Organization, Bolivia is considered to be a country with a low incidence of the virus affecting 0.10% of the adult population. In contrast, it has been estimated that 50% of the population is infected with Chagas Disease with 60% of the country declared as endemic. Fifty thousand people die from this illness in Latin America every year. Bolivia has the highest incidence of infection in the region, the majority of whom live in poverty-stricken areas. This paper will discuss how global development policies perpetuate a form of social injustice within developing countries by the prioritization of health problems which respond to global trends rather than those indentified within individual countries. Using Chagas Disease in Bolivia as an example I will argue that the policies and actions which favor HIV/AIDS over Chagas Disease reflect a form of social injustice. I support this claim through Iris Young’s work on social justice, where she describes the need to move beyond the distributive paradigm where the focus is on the patterns of distribution, to one which focuses on the level of participation in deliberative and decision-making processes.

About the Presenter: 

Anna Malavisi ( is a graduate student in Philosophy with a particular interest in ethics and development. She came to MSU after working for several years as a Development Practitioner in National and International Non-Government Organizations in Bolivia. Her main philosophical interests are ethics, social and political thought and feminist philosophy.

Presented on: 
April 21, 2010
Symposium 2010

Creative Commons License© 2010 Michigan State University. This work by Anna Malavisi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Original at

South America
Development Goals
Chaga's Disease
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