The Socio-Ethical Principle of Subsidiarity: A Philosophical Appraisal of Its Relevance in the Contemporary World

Emmanuel Kelechi Iwuagwu


This paper is a critical exposition of the socio-ethical principle of subsidiarity with a view to establishing its continued ethical, socio-political and economic viability in the contemporary world. The paper is prompted by the fact that the human society in its search for catalysts to propel its development and wellbeing is a victim of the propagation and application of many faulty theories and principles that offer only limited solutions both in scope and time. Employing the critical expository method the paper reviews the historical origin of this principle, its political and socio-ethical dimensions, its scope of application, its difference from other related principles as well as its effects and relevance in the present day world. In appraising the value of subsidiarity the paper presents it as a principle which advocates the recognition and employment of the freedom, creativity and industry of the individual and lesser social entities by the higher authorities for the accomplishment of the common good. In conclusion the paper holds that subsidiarity is not an outdated principle but a very potent one which is highly recommended for socio-political and economic development.

Keywords: Subsidiarity, Socio-ethical principle, Philosophical appraisal,    Relevance, Contemporary world.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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