Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

All Articles

Attack Ads, Questionnaires, and Push Polling: Ethical Issues in Campaign Communications
Political consultants discuss the ethics of campaign tactics that may deceive voters
Caroline Jaffe-Pickett
Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls in Government Service
Questions that public officials should ask before making a decision
Joe Simitian and Judy Nadler
Do's and Don'ts for City Managers and City Councilmembers
Advice for new city officials from an advisor to the International City/County Management Association
Frank Benest
Budgeting Is About Values
John Ellwood, professor of public policy at UC-Berkeley, discusses the difficulty in reaching consensus about values
Miriam Schulman
Thinking Ethically About Government Pensions
Various ethical approaches are used to raise pertinent questions about the best way to accomplish public pension reform
Miriam Schulman
Personal Lives of Public Officials
Ethical issues at the boundary between a politician's personal and public behavior
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
An introduction to the ethical issues for public officials.
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Relationships Between Elected Officials and Staff
An introduction to the ethical issues that arise between city or county staff and councilmembers or supervisors.
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Open Meetings, Sunshine Laws, and Transparency in Government
An introduction to the topic including definitions, dilemmas, cases, and links.
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Open Government, Private Emails - What Does Transparency Require?
The Public Sector Roundtable discusses the difficulty of finding a balance between transparency and privacy for government officials, particularly as it relates to the recording or private emails.
Elliot Zanger
Gifts to Lawmakers and Public Employees: Evolving Policies

What Government Officials Can Do to Raise the Ethical Issues
Tools for making ethics part of the decision making process in government
Miriam Schulman
How the State Legislature Impacts Local Government
How empathy can help state and local legislators work together more effectively
Judy Nadler
Serving Two Masters: Government and Non-Profit Service

LeeAnn Pelham
Civic Engagement in the Digital Age
Panel discussion on citizen involvement from in-person tactics to social media
Carrie Jaffe-Pickett
The Brown Act: Open Government and Ethics
Attorney Joan Cassman explains the theory and practice behind California?s open meetings law
Miriam Schulman
The Brown Act: Traps for the Unwary
Materials from the Public Sector Roundtable on California?s open meetings law
Ethical Issues for Political Candidates
Concerns for voters and pointers for candidates on how to run an ethical campaign from experienced political consultants
Carrie Jaffe-Pickett
Dealing With Disaster: The Ethical Challenges
Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg discusses the ethics of disaster relief compensation
Kenneth Feinberg
Law and Ethics in Public Service
Joan Cassman, attorney, and JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government, distinguish between law and ethics
Carrie Jaffe-Pickett
Ten New Rules for Elected Officials in Times of Economic Meltdown
Senior adviser to the International City/County Management Association advises public servants to focus on the core.
Frank Benest
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Ethical Challenges for Local Government
Cities debate the best way to deal with medical marijuana
Miriam Schulman
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Ethical Challenges for Cities
Ethical questions for municipal officials on allowing, siting, and monitoring medical marijuana dispensaries
Budgeting in a Time of Fiscal Crisis
San Jose City Councilmember Sam Liccardo lays out the ethical issues for public officials when they must make difficult budget decisions.
Miriam Schulman
On Ethics and Immigration
Arizona Governor looks at ethical issues in developing policy on illegal immigration.
Janet Napolitano
Ethics of Leaking
How to tell whether a leak is worth publishing--or taking seriously
Kirk O. Hanson and Jerry Ceppos
Evolution of Human Rights Norms and Machinery
Bertrand G. Ramcharan, former United Nations High Commissioner, offers his perspectives on the evolution of human rights norms and machinery.
Bertrand G. Ramcharan
Politics, the Supreme Court, and Affirmative Action
The decision in Grutter v. Bollinger that it was constitutionally permissible for public colleges and universities to consider race in student admissions was transparently political, in the sense that the outcome was grounded more in the political choices of the justices and the surrounding political context than in any objective legal principles.
Brad Joondeph
Privacy vs. Security
The Center's Framework for Ethical Decision making is applied to privacy vs. security concerns in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
Bharath Krishnamurthy