Ethical Choice Making and Social Equity : A Pathway to Sustainable Governance?
Käyhkö, Esa (2018)
Nanyang Centre for Public Administration
Forging Ahead Toward an Inclusive and Sustainable Globalisation : Selected Articles from the 2017 Lien International Conference
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This paper explores the significance of ethical choice making in this time of societal complexities such as economic inequality and social equity. The discussion of ethical choice making emerges when competing values or interests of what is considered ethical are at stake. For guiding ethical choice making, the influence of market values on public administration raises the question of how to understand social equity as a dimension of the public interest. Social equity reflects fairness, justice and trust, which in a normative sense means that it is based on moral values and ethical considerations. The results of a citizen survey show that interpersonal trust correlates strongly with fairness and justice. This paper suggests a renewed perspective for citizen empowerment based on the conceptual learning of critical theory. Ethical choices should be made through the integrative social process of dealing with differing and ambiguous values to find a shared perspective of interests. Ethics are systems of values that guide action.
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