The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics explores Government Ethics issues including campaign ethics, conflicts of interest, gifts to officials, transparency, budgeting, and other topics.
by John Pelissero, Director, Government Ethics and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago
"On taking office, every public servant, elected or appointed, enters into a covenant with the people: that as a public official they will seek to promote the public interest in all political processes and ensure that policy adoption and service provision occur without favoritism or discrimination. Moreover, a public official must not use her or his position for personal gain and should avoid even the appearance of having a conflict of interest. An ethical awareness of the obligation to act in the public interest will normally promote fairness and justice, and advance the common good."
The Government Ethics Fellowship is open to juniors and seniors with a major or minor in Political Science.
Fellows work approximately four to five hours per week on projects at the intersection of policy and ethics with Professor John Pelissero, senior scholar and director of government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Here are five of the most common conflicts of interest in government and how officials can avoid and prevent even the appearance of acting to benefit their personal and financial interests, at the cost of the public’s interest.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen interferes with the states’ right to create new constitutional limits to enforce sensible gun control regulations.
Adoption of public policy on responsible, common sense gun safety is not only overdue, its absence from bipartisan agreements has become morally untenable.
Our current political system is hopelessly corrupt in that basic ethical principles, such as working for the common good rather than one’s own self-interests of power and money while ignoring conflicts of interest, prevent elected leaders from supporting and incorporating policies and laws to minimize gun violence.
Five Common Conflicts of Interest in Government and How to Prevent Them
How officials can avoid and prevent even the appearance of acting to benefit their personal and financial interests, at the cost of the public’s interest.
Writing a code of ethics? View samples curated from professional associations and state and local governments.
Are laws always ethical? How have voting rights recently been restricted within the United States? Are state officials abusing their power in unethical ways to change voting regulations?
In this episode of the Wild Beasts podcast, John Pelissero, director of government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics discusses voting rights, disinformation, discrimination, and voter suppression.
Browse our commentaries on civic virtue, campaign ethics, lobbying, and current events.
Dive deep into real-life conflicts of interest, whistleblowing, gifts and bribes, and cronyism.
“Voting for Ethics” is a non-partisan, how-to guide for U.S. voters. It will help you identify the hallmarks of an ethical candidate and make a more informed decision -- whether for your local school board or a national election.
This guidebook is designed to help those managing or engaging in political campaigns do so in an ethical manner. It also serves as a valuable resource to voters, helping them identify the hallmarks of an ethical campaign.
John Pelissero, Director, government ethics, quoted by Capital Public Radio.
Ann Skeet, senior director, leadership ethics, published by The Messenger.
John Pelissero, senior scholar, government ethics, quoted by The San Francisco Standard.