Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

All Articles

Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas for Public Officials
Challenges for public officials in the areas of fairness, transparency, conflicts of interest, and integrity.
Hana Callaghan
Performance-based Pay and the Law of Unintended Consequences
How can an organization implement performance-driven metrics, but avoid the pitfalls of incentive gaming and flat out manipulation?
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Yelling Across the Aisle: Combating the corrosive effects of hyper-partisanship
Public Sector Roundtable discusses pressing issues in government ethics with help from donor Michael E. Fox Sr.
Dealing With Disaster: The Ethical Challenges
Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg discusses the ethics of disaster relief compensation
Kenneth Feinberg
Imbalance between Francis, U.S. bishops undermines religious liberty campaign
An analysis of the balance between freedom of conscience and freedom of the church
David DeCosse
It May Be Legal, but Is it Ethical? (Video)
A discussion distinguishing law and ethics in public sector decision making.
Joan Cassman and JoAnne Speers
What Government Officials Can Do to Raise the Ethical Issues
Tools for making ethics part of the decision making process in government
Joan Cassman and JoAnne Speers
It May Be Legal, but Is it Ethical?
Meeting of the Government Ethics Roundtable, August 2013
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
Widespread Government Corruption: When is it Time to Leave Your Job?
A recent college graduate encounters a culture of corruption in her first job in local government.
Amanda Nelson
The Influence of Partisan Politics on Government
The Public Sector Roundtable hosts former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards
View From Sacramento
Materials from a meeting of the Public Sector Roundtable on how state and local government can work together
Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls in Government Service
Questions that public officials should ask before making a decision
Joe Simitian and Judy Nadler
How the State Legislature Impacts Local Government
How empathy can help state and local legislators work together more effectively
Joe Simitian and Judy Nadler
How the State Legislature Impacts Local Government
California politician Joe Simitian talks about how different levels of state and local government can work together.
Miriam Schulman
Government Ethics Articles
Materials on transparency, gifts and bribes, conflicts of interest, campaigns, and other topics in government ethics.
Toward Stronger Ethics in Government Relations
The senior counselor to the chairman at Hill & Knowlton discusses lobbying.
Tom Hoog
Leadership in Government Ethics (video)
Senior Fellow in Government Ethics speaks on leadership around values at a national conference at SMU.
Judy Nadler
What's in a Name?
The (fictional) town of Berkshire has named a plaza after its long-time mayor. Now the mayor has been convicted of taking kickbacks. Should the city change the plaza name?
Judy Nadler
Fairness and the California Redistricting Process
Redistricting Commissioner Angelo Ancheta and SCU Professor of Political Science Janet Flammang discuss the evolution of the new California plan.
Miriam Schulman
Brief History of Redistricting in California Since 1970
SCU Professor of Political Science Janet Flammang traces the often contentious process of drawing new district lines.
Janet Flammang
Fairness in Redistricting: Interview With a California Commissioner (video)
Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Nadler discusses the challenges that faced the California Citizens Redistricting Commission with Commissioner Ancheta
Judy Nadler and Angelo Ancheta
Republic Lost (podcast)
An analysis of the corrupting power of money in American politics
Lawrence Lessig
New Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas for Elected Officials
The use of social media and new forms of conflicts of interest top the update of ethical issues facing locally elected public servants.
Deep Pockets
Materials on how local governments weigh whether or not to defend against litigation
Deep Pockets in the Public Sector
When should a city defend against litigation, and when should it settle? A look at the ethical issues.
Miriam Schulman
Ethics: Beyond Codes and Disclosure Forms
Presentation to 32 Speakers of State Houses of Representatives at the 2009 National Speakers Conference hosted by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, Sea Island, Georgia. October 22, 2009
Kirk Hanson
Red Light, Green Light for State Legislators
Brief cases highlight ethical dilemmas for state officials
Judy Nadler
Emerging Ethical Issues for Local Government Officials

Do We Have an Obligation to Vote?
An analysis of whether it is possible to make a rational case for the individual's responsibility to vote.
Scott LaBarge, introduced by Judy Nadler
Codes of Ethics and Values
Access to a wide variety of resources on how cities can develop ethical codes
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Introduction to Government Ethics
Basic material on the most common ethical issues in public service
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
On-Line Resources in Government Ethics
Links to articles, codes, and other materials about government ethics programs.
Creating a Culture of Ethics in the Public Sector
Remarks on government ethics presented at the World Bank
Judy Nadler
Government Ethics Cases for City Finance Directors
Scenarios ask city finance directors to give a red or green light.
Judy Nadler
A Tale of Two Downtowns
How should a Vietnamese-American councilmember balance the needs of his own ethnic group and the needs of other segments of the community?
Judy Nadler
Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas of Newly-Elected Local Officials
As part of the Center's commitment to government ethics, Senior Fellow Judy Nadler convened 13 mayors and council members for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to share the top ethical dilemmas confronting every person who comes into local elected office.
Judy Nadler
Lying in Government
Peter Minowitz, author of "Straussophobia," leads a discussion of "the noble lie."(podcast)
Emerging Issues Group