Jonathan Boston, Andrew Bradstock, and David Eng (eds)

Ethics and Public Policy: Contemporary Issues


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Published February 2011

Ethics and public policy are inextricably linked. All policies have ethical implications, and the policy choices which governments make are influenced, whether explicitly or implicitly, by ethical considerations. Accordingly, good policy analysis necessarily entails sound ethical analysis; the two must go hand in hand. With this in mind, Ethics and Public Policy: Contemporary Issues explores the ethical frameworks and principles upon which governments can and should base their policies. Drawing on papers from the Ethical Foundations of Public Policy conference held in Wellington in December 2009, this book covers topics such as ethics in decision making and advice giving, sustainability, equality and justice, and measuring progress. As the contributors make clear, the interplay between ethical considerations and policy making is often complex, controversial and challenging; but the careful management of this interplay is vital to the effective functioning of liberal, democratic government. Ethics and Public Policy: Contemporary Issues is essential reading for policy makers and students, as well as those who are interested in the policy process.

Jonathan Boston is Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Policy Studies at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington. He has published widely in the fields of public management, tertiary education, social policy, comparative government, New Zealand politics, and climate change policy.
Andrew Bradstock is the Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Otago. Previously he co-directed the Centre for Faith and Society at the Von Hügel Institute, St EdmundÂ’s College, Cambridge, and was Secretary for Church and Society with the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom.
David Eng is a Principal Adviser at the Tertiary Education Commission in New Zealand and was previously a lecturer in philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington. His areas of research include epistemology, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, and philosophy of evaluation.


1 Introduction: Ethical dimensions of public policy - Jonathan Boston, Andrew Bradstock and David Eng


Part One: Ethical Foundations

2 Behavioural Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy: Paving the road to freedom or serfdom? - Morris Altman

3 'Go and Do Likewise': The parable of the Good Samaritan and the challenge of public ethics - Chris Marshall

4 Who Then Is My Neighbour? Ethical decision making around our international obligations- contribution of human rights theory and practice - Margaret Bedggood

5 Justice as Collective Capability - Karen Baehler

6 Considerations of Distributive Justice in the Context of Climate Change Mitigation - Frieder Lempp, Lucas Kengmana, and Jonathan Boston


Part Two: Ethics and Policy Making

7 Beyond Serving a Purpose: Additional ethical focuses for public policy agents - Vanessa Scholes

8 Ethics of Not-Very-Targeted Government Interventions - TM Wilkinson

9 Making Fair Funding Decisions for High-Cost Health Care: The case of Herceptin in New Zealand - Elizabeth Fenton

10 Can Policy Be Ethical Without Consumer Input?- Hilary Stace and Martin Sullivan


Part Three: Sustainability and Progress

11 The Ethics of a Sustainable Economy: Implications for public policy - Robert Howell and Wayne Cartwright

12 Measuring New Zealand's Progress Using a Sustainable Development Approach - Rachael Milicich

13 Cooperative Environmental Management: Taking care of New Zealand's unique natural resources in more effective ways -Karlheinz Knickel, Guy Salmon, and Susanne von Muenchhausen

14 Equity and Sustainable Development - Paul Dalziel and Caroline Saunders

15 Rethinking Progress: Evaluation of the Wellington Regional Genuine Progress Index - Aaron Packard and Ralph Chapman

16 Recent Challenges to the Ethics Underlying Official Statistics in New Zealand - Sharleen Forbes, Vince Galvin, Andrew Hunter, Paul Maxwell, and Whetu Wereta



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