New Center at George Mason to Focus on Global Ethics

Posted: February 11, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Rey Banks

George Mason’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies has opened the new Center for Global Ethics, which focuses on ethics and globalization, the strengthened role of human rights, and the development of cross-cultural dialogue. The center also serves as a resource to members of the university community interested in studying issues of individual and social ethics, as well as professional codes of ethics.

Carol Gould, director,Center for Global Ethics
Carol Gould, director,

Center for Global Ethics
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Directed by Carol Gould, professor of philosophy and government, the center aims to foster new ethics initiatives at the university and carry out research on normative issues raised by globalization, particularly in regard to the extension of democracy and human rights in transnational contexts.

“Globalization in its various dimensions—economic, technological, political, and legal—poses hard questions concerning individual and social responsibility to others at a distance, as well as accountability in emerging transnational institutions,” says Gould. “We will consider how such important norms as freedom, democracy, and human rights can be extended more widely, yet can remain open to a diversity of cultural perspectives and ethical frameworks. Attention to questions of global ethics is clearly an important new direction for academics, professionals, and the public.”

The center will work to generate collaborative research on the ethical and social implications of public policies and professional practices. Addressing problems of globalization and ethics and applying cross-cultural approaches will facilitate the center’s goal to arrive at cosmopolitan, global, and ethical perspectives on such important themes as justice, human rights, and issues of war and peace.

The center will work with other Mason affiliated programs, as well as many national and international research centers to maximize the consideration of ethics issues in curricular and research contexts and in lectures, colloquia, and conferences. The center will also cosponsor a number of lectures and workshops in the spring 2005 semester. The first of these will bring George Brenkert, professor and director of the Business Ethics Institute at Georgetown University, to Mason on Thursday, Feb. 17. Brenkert’s topic is “Integrity and Responsible Leadership,” which he will present at 3 p.m. in Mason Hall, Room D23. The School of Management is also sponsoring the event, which is open to the Mason community and the public. For a complete list of planned activities and more information, click here.

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