On Thursday we move into the final phase of the course, which focuses on professional ethics. We move from the world of moral arguments about policy to consideration of the everyday professional behavior of non-elected government officials who formulate, advocate and implement publicpolicy. It is the challenges in this arena that you are most likely to encounter early in your careers and it is important to think about them ahead of time so that you're not caught unawares when a dilemma arises. This section differs from the opening section of the course--on political morality--by focusing on professional government employees, not elected officials or other officials appointed by elected officials.
This means that any research project in the field of genetic modification of animals has to be assessed not only concerning the scientific quality and the risk aspects but concerning the ethical aspects as well. Biotech- nological activities with animals are prohibited by the government unless it is not reasonable to think that relevant values are violated, or unless the aim is so important that the violation of these values may be overruled. In other words, there must be good reasons for carrying them out. This procedure is not meant to hamper the development of animal biotechnology, but it has to function as a tool against public fear.
6. A relatively common type of policy debate concerns cases in which one side supports a policy because of its aggregate benefits and the other side opposes it because of a different (non-consequentialist) moral consideration. Needle exchange programs are one example. Proponents of needle exchanges claim (and have decent evidence to back it up) that these programs decrease the spread of disease (including hepatitis and HIV). Opponents claim that such a program condones IV drug use. One opponent says that it amounts to saying that "it's O.K. for drug users to continue using drugs and kill themselves because it's cheaper for the government." Another compares needle exchange programs to the Tuskegee "experiment." A similar debate occurred last year about mandating the HPV vaccine, with proponents pointing to the health benefits and opponents concerned about the vaccine leading to increases in teen sexual activity. We’ll look at another one that might fall in this in the second half of Thursday’s class.
The task of policy analysis is sometimes viewed as a technician’s task—a matter of using analytical tools to figure out the most effective way to achieve policy goals. That is certainly an essential part of policy analysis, but it is important to be aware of what it leaves out. It leaves out any attempt to say which goals publicpolicy should try to serve in the first place. To care about publicpolicy is to care about whether policies are good or bad. But good or bad in what sense, in what respects, according to what perspectives or values?
With a shift toward “new public government” (Osborne, 2006), increasing attention has been paid to governing according to collective values and a concomitant ethics code for public officials. As such, the challenge for public officials is to operate in a complex environment with shifting public expectations of performance while maintaining strict adherence to values of propriety.
The article deals with the problems of government regulation of advertising industry in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The main purpose of the study includes evaluation of attitudes to the moral issues in advertising practice as well as government policy on the problem of unethical advertising. The study applies methodological framework of policy analysis toward the regulation of unethical advertising in the countries of the EAEU. The authors find out that there is no coherent publicpolicy in this field in the EAEU. While Russia attempts to apply international standards with self-regulation mechanisms in order to deal with unethical advertisements, the other member states prefer to use strict governmental control. In Russia, there are two opposite tendencies: While mass media assign part of regulation to the government, the government does not want to adopt this role. The courts in Russia prefer reactive regulation of advertising, usually trying to evade even obvious law cases. At the same time, facing no resistance from either governments or societies, some part of advertising industry tends to abuse ethic norms. The authors claim that this situation undermines the process of integration and differs significantly advertising industry in the countries of EAEU from advertising, for example, in the member states of the European Union.
In this case, there will be sufficient net benefit that the winners under the policy could compensate the losers under the policy and everyone could be a little better off. So if this compensation is carried out, everyone has a net benefit. The Kaldor-Hicks criterion says that this policy is a good idea even if the compensation isn't actually carried out.
President’s policy desires when there may be a lot of civil servants in the executive agencies who disagree with these policies. One solution: appoint heavily ideological people to these positions. The discussion starts by citing someone who criticizes the Bush administration for appointing a bunch of ideologues to key policy positions. The author then talks about why that might be a plausible way to address the principal-agent problem. But maybe not. One of the counter-reactions such appointments may generate is even more guerilla activity, as bureaucrats feel resistance/sabotage is even more justified because policy at the top is being driven by ideology rather than knowledge and
Another example of the ethos of approximation is given by the application of Philip Pettit’s republican theory of freedom to José L.R. Zapatero's political program (Pettit & Marti 2010). Pettit's republicanism defends the idea that government action should be geared toward making sure nobody is arbitrarily subjected to another individual or collective agent’s will. In the political campaign running before the 2004 elections, Zapatero publicly adopted Pettit’s version of republicanism as his governing strategy, and invited Pettit himself to evaluate his government’s results at the end of his first mandate in 2008. After assessing Zapatero's policies in various domains — such as education, healthcare or the regulation of state agencies, Pettit concluded that it was worth a 9 out of 10 on the normative scale drawn by his conception of republican freedom. This suggests that, on the applied ethics view, the typical practical task of ethical theorizing is to provide a measure of the degree to which any given policy arrangement approximates (or diverges from) one’s professed normative ideal.
After our initial focus on politics and morality, we're going to move away from politics. In comparison with the political point of view that has been at the center of the issues we discussed so far, the moral point of view is disinterested, universal, general, abstract, reflective, consistent, transparent, etc. We'll be taking up a series of topics in which we'll discuss and debate particular policies or policy proposals, focusing on what you think the right thing to do is and why. Along the way we'll touch on many of the major concepts that get brought to bear in policy debates--human welfare, rights, freedom, justice, etc.--and intertwine theoretical and applied discussions.
Next we take up another central moral concept—liberty—and consider public policies that restrict individual liberty in various ways. One approach to restricting an individual’s liberty is to do it for his/her own good. This practice is known as paternalism. But there are other ways to justify restrictions—like for the good of others. Governments frequently restrict individual liberty and it is therefore important that you understand your own commitments in this area. The reading for next time features a variety of current policy debates that I hope will generate some disagreement among you. Since governments spend a lot of time restricting liberty, it’s important for you to be able to analyze these issues coherently.
month=03&year=2009&base_name=mandatory_medicine) comments on a variety of policy proposals involving mandatory procedures, including HPV vaccinations for immigrants and HIV testing for pregnant women. Suppose you work for a member of a state legislature who serves on the health committee. He asks you to provide an analysis of the ethical issues in such proposals. Select one of the proposals mentioned in the blog entry and focus your analysis on it. What stand would you recommend to your boss, and why?
Progressives. W ALL S TREET J. (July 1, 2014) (“[P]rogressive intellectuals [a century ago] were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded. . . . It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mindset that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America. Such thinking on the left also is behind the rationales for indulging President Obama in his anti-constitutional use of executive power. . . . [W]e should start using ‘liberal’ to designate the good guys on the left, reserving ‘progressive’ for those who are enthusiastic about an unrestrained regulatory state, who think it’s just fine to subordinate the interests of individuals to large social projects, who cheer the president’s abuse of executive power and who have no problem rationalizing the stifling of dissent.”); Jeffrey D. Sachs, The New Progressive Movement, N.Y. T IMES (Nov. 12, 2011) (“Following our recent financial calamity, a third progressive era is likely to be in the making. This one should aim for three things. The first is a revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environmental protection. The second is the end of a climate of impunity that encouraged nearly every Wall Street firm to commit financial fraud. The third is to re- establish the supremacy of people votes over dollar votes in Washington. . . . The new movement also needs to build a publicpolicy platform. The American people have it absolutely right on the three main points of a new agenda. To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all.”)
For some PR experts communication has several functions. Glen M. Broom (2010) perceives it as a process of mutual exchange of a signal with the goals of informing, persuasion and teaching. The ethical dilemma arises from the sense of using persua- sion in public relations. Feminist theorist Sally M. Gearhart sees persuasion as an “act of violence” (Bivins, 2004). From that perspective persuasion leads to the imposition of specifi c ideas. On the other hand, persuasion is defi ned as “a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behav- ior regarding an issue through the transmission of a message, in an atmosphere of free choice” (Perloff, 2006, cited in Tench & Yeomans, 2009, p. 256). This view highlights the fact that the person who is persuaded has the freedom of choice to accept or not to accept the received information. This persuasive approach is based on arguments and rhetoric, and should not be confused with propaganda. One of the reasons why propaganda is often put in a negative context is because it uses half-truths to shape the perception. It is defi ned as “deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cogni- tions and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist” (Jowett & O’Donnell, 1992, cited in Tench & Yeomans, 2009, p. 256).