DPI-202: Ethics in Public Life

Semester: Fall

Credit: 1.0


Day Time Location
First Day 9/2
Meet Day HKS


This course in practical and professional ethics helps students develop the skills they need for acting effectively and well in public life. Through close analysis of actual cases, we examine instances of exemplary conduct and learn from moral failures; engage in ethical debate in the classroom and in writing assignments; trace the connections between ethical judgment and specific public policies; and explore the challenges in working across geographical and cultural boundaries. Topics include the meaning of professionalism, the appeal to personal conscience in public decision making, the responsibilities that arise from global interdependence, the problem of "dirty hands," and the ethics of loyalty and dissent in bureaucratic settings. Cases from around the world provide the primary focus of class discussion, supplemented by the writings of Machiavelli and Confucius.




John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page