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PPG2011H: Ethics and the Public Interest

MPP students are to complete either PPG2011H or PPG2022H.

Course Description

Ethics and The Public Interest provides a range of frameworks, drawn from a variety of cultural perspectives, for analyzing and managing the complex ethical dilemmas that public officials confront. It is a course in politically-informed moral reasoning.

“Politically-informed” means that this is not a course in pure moral theory. The political realities that policy-makers face, the constraints imposed by interests, resources and power, and the possibilities afforded by coalitions, compromise and bargaining, will be very much a part of the discussion.

The analytical and case material students will discuss is meant to enable the formulation of well-reasoned, theoretically and empirically-based viewpoints on difficult and controversial public-policy and public management issues.

The course will focus on what for the vast majority of people would be genuine moral dilemmas: issues about which most of us will be internally conflicted, where each of the competing sides asserts well-founded ethical claims. But more than this, the course has a global component. Not only will many of the topics pose dilemmas for any one ethical system, they will also pose different kinds of dilemmas for different ethical systems, which will view them through diverse moral lenses, weighing the costs and benefits in culturally distinctive ways. Because many of the most compelling issues that public officials face transcend borders and cultures, the course will develop an understanding of differing moral systems and the ability to navigate between them.

Fall (2nd year)

A. Stark

Pre-requisite for enrollment: Successful completion of 3.5 MPP1 FCEs
Second year students are required to register in the second year core PPG2011H OR the second year core PPG2022H.