Ethics and Integrity in Public Sector


The course explores the moral underpinning of decision making in the spheres of public policy and politics. The course starts with the discussion of the idea of public sphere and difference between political and economic reasoning.

As the course proceeds we will look into the practical implications of the values and principles in the everyday decision-making process in politics and policy-making process. Key moral ideas like freedom, justice, equality, individual and collective rights will be examined, looking specifically at how these ideas are being defined, managed and applied in different philosophical traditions. Students will learn how to identify, understand, and resolve ethical problems which arise both from direct violations of the basic ethical principles, but also from competition between them.

Deciding what is good, right and just when making specific decisions proves to be more complicated and to some extent relative and based on philosophical and political views of the person making the decision. In order to understand how one still can follow ethical principles in public service, practical examples of policy decisions in specific spheres will be both from Ukraine and other countries will be debated.

Students will read the main international guidelines for ethical conduct in public service, as well as Ukrainian legal regulations. The main goal of the course is to develop students’ ability for critical thinking and reasoning on issues concerning morality in policy and politics.

The course will be taught by lectures and seminars and will be assessed by essay, group paper, class participation and exam.