Public Policy

Public Policy

Why ethics matters

Edited by: Jonathan Boston, Andrew Bradstock, David Eng

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Ethics is a vigorously contested field. There are many competing moral frameworks, and different views about how normative considerations should inform the art and craft of governmental policy making. What is not in dispute, however, is that ethics matters. The ethical framework adopted by policy analysts and decision makers not only shapes how policy problems are defined, framed and analysed, but also influences which ethical principles and values are taken into account and their weighting. As a result, ethics can have a profound impact, both on the character of the policy process and the choices made by decision makers.

Public Policy – Why Ethics Matters brings together original contributions from leading scholars and practitioners with expertise in various academic disciplines, including economics, philosophy, physics, political science, public policy and theology. The volume addresses three main issues: fist, the ethical considerations that should inform the conduct of public officials and the task of policy analysis; second, the ethics of climate change; and third, ethics and economic policy. While the contributors have varying views on these important issues, they share a common conviction that the ethical dimensions of public policy need to be better understood and given proper attention in the policy-making process.

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  1. Ethics and public policy (PDF, 142KB)Jonathan Boston, Andrew Bradstock, and David Eng doi

Part I: Ethical foundations of public policy

  1. Justice, humanity, and prudence (PDF, 135KB)Tom Campbell doi
  2. Doing ethical policy analysis (PDF, 144KB)Michael Mintrom doi
  3. The public servant as analyst, adviser, and advocate (PDF, 180KB)David Bromell doi
  4. Be careful what you wish for (PDF, 150KB)John Uhr doi

Part II: Ethics of climate change

  1. The most important thing about climate change (PDF, 170KB)John Broome doi
  2. Recognising ethics to help a constructive climate change debate (PDF, 285KB)Andy Reisinger and Howard Larsen doi
  3. Sharing the responsibility of dealing with climate change: Interpreting the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (PDF, 149KB)Dan Weijers, David Eng, and Ramon Das doi
  4. Virtue and the commons (PDF, 159KB)Xavier Márquez doi

Part III: Perspectives on ethics and the economy

  1. Tackling economic inequality (PDF, 160KB)Andrew Bradstock doi
  2. Is ethics important for economic growth? (PDF, 369KB)David Rea doi
  3. Regulation of financial markets: Panics, moral hazard, and the long-term good (PDF, 246KB)Simon Smelt doi
  4. An alternative reply to the free-rider objection against unconditional citizenship grants (PDF, 154KB)Julia Maskivker doi

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