Political Science | Ethics & Public Policy
Y379 | 24454 | Failer


This class focuses on three important questions that lay at the
intersection of ethics and public policy.  First, which morally
problematic means are justified in pursuing valuable political
ends?  Second, what should the ends of public policy be?  Third,
what are the moral responsibilities of public officials when they
try to answer the first two questions?  We will begin each topic by
evaluating the theory on its own terms.  We will then apply the
principles derived from ethical theory to concrete cases in public
policy.  We will also use the cases to test the adequacy of the
ethical theory.  Among the topics we will discuss are political
violence, political deception, social experiments, cost-benefit
analysis, organ transplants, commercial surrogacy, religion and
public education, public funding for abortion, affirmative action,
gay marriage, and political responsibility.  Each student will be
responsible for completing one oral presentation (done with a
group), one paper, one midterm examination, and one final
examination.