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  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development

This event is supported by the Department of Global Development in the Social, Political, and Ethical Dimensions of Technology in Development job talk series. 

Talk abstract

This talk charts the relationship between technology, ethics, and development through the lens of the changing world of work. After presenting my research on mechanization and automation in global development contexts, Aaron Benanav illustrates how, historically, some forms of technological innovation have generated major job losses, while others have failed to do so. Benanav then explain recent changes in the global landscape of work in terms of, on the one hand, forces making for an increasing oversupply of labor, and on the other hand, forces making for a persistent under-demand for labor. The result—in a challenge to development theory—has been an unexpected transfer of a large share of the world’s working population from agriculture to mostly low-wage, informal service jobs. In addition, Benanav offers a preview of new work considering moments in the recent past and present when international organizations and development thinkers have advocated for the use of technology to achieve other goals beyond increasing economic efficiency. Benanav argues that an ethical orientation towards technological development demands a multi-criterial approach that prioritizes equity and the needs of communities. Finally, Benanav offers conclusions about why this research agenda is essential if we are to ensure a socially and ecologically sustainable approach to development.


Aaron Benanav, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Syracuse University

Date & Time

March 15, 2024
9:30 am - 11:00 am

Aaron Benanav headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Lacey Lattin, Assistant to the Chair, Global Development

  • ll984 [at]


Aaron Benanav, Syracuse University


Department of Global Development

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