Morality http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/7575/all en Break it and see: norms of good governance and the wobbly protection of public opinion http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/break-it-and-see-norms-good-governance-and-wobbly-protection-public-opinion <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/fh_fiw2017_worldmap_large.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="201" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/fh_fiw2017_worldmap_large.jpg" style="float:left" title="by Freedom House" width="355" /></a>Events around the world (on this please see <strong><em><a href="https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2017" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Freedom in the World 2017</a>) </em></strong>are teaching us at least two astounding lessons. The first is that in liberal constitutional democracies good governance is far more dependent on norms, particularly constitutional conventions, than formal rules. This has serious implications. The second lesson is that when certain political actors choose to ignore the norms of good governance …and the details vary depending on the context…it is not at all clear that anything can stop them. Let’s take these two issues one by one.<br /><br /><em>Norms, conventions, formal rules</em><br /><br /> In his classic work, <a href="http://files.libertyfund.org/files/1714/0125_Bk.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution</em> </a>the great English jurist, A.V. Dicey, introduced a distinction between what he called constitutional laws and the conventions of the constitution. Constitutional law, he pointed out, consists of rules that the courts will enforce. But there are other constitutional rules:<br /><br /> The other set of rules consist of conventions, understandings, habits, or practices which, though they may regulate the conduct of other officials, are not in reality laws at all since they are not enforced by the Courts. This proportion of constitutional law may, for the sake of distinction, be termed the ‘conventions of the constitution’, or constitutional morality.</div></div></div> Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:19:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 7627 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Justin Farrell http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-justin-farrell <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="Justin Farrell, author of The Battle for Yellowstone" height="187" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/justin-farrell.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="180" />"Environmental conflict is not ultimately about scientific true and false, but about moral right and wrong. It is not about the facts themselves, but what makes the facts meaningful. There are important moral and spiritual bases of conflict that observers and participants in the conflict have ignored, muted or simply misunderstood."</em><br /><br /> - <a href="http://justinfarrell.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Justin Farrell</a>, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University and the author of <a href="http://news.yale.edu/2015/06/25/book-battle-yellowstone" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Battle for Yellowstone</a><br />  </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 10 Aug 2015 14:14:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 7131 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Arnab Goswami http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-arnab-goswami-0 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="Arnab Goswami" height="175" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/arnab_goswami_times_now_0.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="180" /><em>"I've often said this: that, in a choice between right and wrong, black and white, the facts that stare you in your face, will you not take a side on what is right?" </em><br /><em> </em><br /> - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arnab-Goswami/118243294858564" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Arnab Goswami</a>, an Indian journalist and the editor-in-chief of Indian news channel <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Now" target="_blank" title="Times Now" rel="nofollow">Times Now</a>. He anchors <em>The Newshour</em>, a live debate show that airs weekdays on Times Now and hosts the television programme <em>Frankly Speaking with Arnab.</em><br />  </div></div></div> Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:17:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 7070 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Roberto Mangabeira Unger http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-roberto-mangabeira-unger <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="" height="252" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/unger_headshot.jpeg" style="float:left" title="" width="180" />“The essential thing, the ultimate goal of politics and thought, is a bigger life for the individual. A bigger life – that remains the main objective…to increase our divine attributes to have moral life.”</em><br /><br /> - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Mangabeira_Unger" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Roberto Mangabeira Unger</a>, a brazillian philosopher and politician and currently the <a href="http://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10910/Unger/background" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Roscoe Pound Professor of Law at Harvard University</a>. His political activity helped bring about democracy in Brazil.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:21:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 6844 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Mary Midgley http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-mary-midgley-0 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Mary_Midgley.JPG" style="float:left; height:233px; width:180px" /><em>"There is this increasing faith that physical science is the answer to all our terrible questions. I want to fight against the whole idea that it is where you go to for enlightenment.”</em></p> <p> - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Midgley" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Mary Midgley</a>, an English moral philosopher, who strongly opposes <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductionism" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">reductionism</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">scientism</a> and any attempts to make science a substitute for the humanities. She is well-known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights.</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:23:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 6722 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The Things We Do: Would You Steal for Me? http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-would-you-steal-me <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Three_Wise_Monkeys%2CTosho-gu_Shrine.JPG" style="float:left; height:164px; margin-left:4px; margin-right:4px; width:280px" />When people talk about saying “no” the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-acosta/narcissism-and-selfdefens_b_776509.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">discussion usually revolves around why we find it so difficult</a>. We want to help, we don’t want to make the other person feel bad, we are afraid of confrontation, we might feel guilty... the list goes on.  There is usually a chapter on ‘saying no’ in self-help books, and it’s a popular topic for religious leaders and psychologists. They claim that we must be assertive, value ourselves, defend our rights, and seek relationships with healthy foundations.<br /><br /> But there might be a more intrinsic reason why saying no is so difficult: <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/connecting/connection-happiness" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">humans are social creatures</a> and are inherently <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformity" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">vulnerable to the suggestions</a> of others.<br /><br /> Many of us assume that the favors we ask of others will only be granted if the other person feels comfortable with them, but we fail to realize that simply by asking we are influencing the other’s actions and willingness to oblige.  We don’t consciously think about the degree to which we take cues from other people.<br /><br /> This leads us to underestimate how much power our neighbor who asks us for favors has or the amount of influence we, ourselves, have when we give advice to a relative.  We ask favors and give advice without realizing that the person listening will, more often than not, take what we say on board. We agree to things and we say yes because we are unaware of how easily influenced we are.<br /><br /> So what happens when someone asks a favor that is unethical? Do we realize how easy it is to convince someone, and does this influence our decision to ask for unethical things? Do we recognize our tendency to say yes and do we allow our own sense of morality and ethics triumph?</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 20 May 2014 18:50:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 6703 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Mary Midgley http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-mary-midgley <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Mary_Midgley.JPG" style="float:left; height:233px; margin:1px; width:180px" />“<em>In spite of the huge differences between cultures, all that we know about human behavior shows that it can be understood only by reference to people’s own thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears and other feelings. This is not something invented by a particular culture. It’s universal.” </em><br /><br /> - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Midgley" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Mary Midgley</a>, an English moral philosopher, who strongly opposes <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductionism" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">reductionism</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">scientism</a> and any attempts to make science a substitute for the humanities. She is well-known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights.<br />  </p> <p>  </p> <p> <br />  </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:01:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 6670 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Václav Havel http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-v-clav-havel <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><EM><IMG height=254 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/havel.gif" width=180 align=left border=0>"Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our Being as humans, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed, whether it be ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization, will be unavoidable. If we are no longer threatened by world war or by the danger that the absurd mountains of accumulated nuclear weapons might blow up the world, this does not mean that we have definitively won. We are in fact far from definite victory.</EM></P> <P><EM>We are still a long way from that 'family of man;' in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerned not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it. </div></div></div> Mon, 19 Dec 2011 16:32:44 +0000 Anne-Katrin Arnold 5873 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Global Financial Markets: A Tale of Two Moral Publics http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/global-financial-markets-tale-two-moral-publics <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img height="213" alt="" hspace="0" width="280" align="left" border="0" src="/files/publicsphere/4110489562_4f2070bcf3(1).jpeg" />On May 2 this year, Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, the gigantic Wall Street bank, was interviewed on CNN by Fareed Zakaria (his show is <a href="http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/fareed.zakaria.gps/">Global Public Square</a>). Towards the end of the <a target="_blank" href="http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1005/02/fzgps.01.html">interview</a>, Blankfein set up a striking distinction between the two publics of Goldman Sachs, as he saw them, and the ethical standards relevant to each public. The exchange is worth quoting in full:<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ZAKARIA:</strong> <em>We're back with the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein. And finally, when George W. Bush tried to persuade Hank Paulson to become secretary of Treasury, as you know, he tried a couple of times and finally, he got Paulson to agree. It was a great coup to have gotten the chairman of Goldman Sachs, the most storied name in finance, to come to his administration and now, here you are with a very different reputation, particularly in the public's eyes. Do you think you can right, do you think that a few years from now, this will all have passed and Goldman Sachs will still be regarded with the same kind of awe and admiration it was or is that world over? </em></p> </div></div></div> Thu, 27 May 2010 19:05:36 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 5452 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere