Bloom Highlights Importance of Flourishing for International Development

Author: Beth Hlabse

NOTRE DAME, IN - On October 22-24, Professor Matt Bloom, principal investigator for Wellbeing at Work, 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.

bloom_11_copycourtesy of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Bloom, a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute, related how his research on flourishing might offer rich new ways to think about development. “We think that there is a deep affiliation between flourishing and dignity. The burgeoning research on happiness and thriving will continue to provide theories, empirical results, and research methods that will advance our understanding of dignity,” said Bloom. 

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.

bloom_22copycourtesy of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies

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.