Purpose The purpose of this article is to assess the operation of the UK’s PublicInterest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA 1998) during its first 10 years and to consider its implications for the whistleblowing process. Method The article sets the legislation into context by discussing the common law background. It then gives detailed consideration to the statutory provisions and how they have been interpreted by the courts and tribunals. Results In assessing the impact of the legislation’s approach to (...) whistleblowing both in the UK and elsewhere, the author draws upon empirical research. Conclusion The author concludes that PIDA 1998 has not adequately protected whistleblowers and makes 12 recommendations for change. Despite the European Commission’s acknowledgement that whistleblowers can play a part in the fight against corruption, the author notes that common standards for their protection still seem a long way off. (shrink)
Although the idea of the publicinterest features prominently in many accounts of deliberative democracy, the relationship between deliberative democracy and the publicinterest is rarely spelt out with any degree of precision. In this article, I identify and defend one particular way of framing this relationship. I begin by arguing that people can deliberate about the publicinterest only if the publicinterest is, in principle, identifiable independently of their deliberations. Of (...) course, some pluralists claim that the publicinterest is an implausible idea, which casts doubt on the idea that there might be something for people to deliberate about. Yet while, following Brian Barry, we can get around this problem by defining the publicinterest as an interest in which everyone shares qua member of the public, what still needs to be explained is why people should be prepared to privilege this particular capacity. I argue that the account of political equality with which deliberative democracy is bound up offers a compelling explanation of this sort, even if it also gives rise to some difficult questions of feasibility. I conclude by considering the charge that any political scheme that framed the relationship between deliberative democracy and the publicinterest in this way would be undesirable. (shrink)
The publicinterest in the administration of justice requires access to justice for all. But access to justice must be “meaningful” access. Meaningful access requires procedures, processes, and institutional structures that facilitate communication among participants and decision-makers and ensure that judges and other decision-makers have the resources they need to render fully informed and sound decisions. Working from that premise, which is based on a reconceptualization of the objectives and methods of the justice process, the author proposes numerous (...) specific changes in decision-making processes and practices. These changes are required to achieve a standard of decision-making that is consistent with the publicinterest in the administration of justice within a constitutional framework under the social and political conditions of the early 21st century. The essay illustrates the application of the principles and methods of legitecture to analysis of problems of institutional design in law. (shrink)
Drawing from a four-year study of US science institutions that support biological control of arthropods, this article examines the decline in biological control institutional capacity in California within the context of both declining publicinterest science and declining agricultural research activism. After explaining how debates over the publicinterest character of biological control science have shaped institutions in California, we use scientometric methods to assess the present status and trends in biological control programs within both the (...) University of California Land Grant System and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. We present available data on the number of scientific positions and the types of positions to discuss the impact on the amount of publicinterest research on biological control in California. We use sociograms to depict how biological control science networks have been reconfigured over time. Our quantitative and qualitative analyses indicate that the following factors contributed to the decline of biological control science in California over the 45-year period analyzed: (1) the institutional reconfiguration of university research priorities; (2) the fraying networks within and increasing specialization of biological control science; (3) the transformation of the social organization of the life science work, including privatization; and (4) the abandonment of this thematic area by civil society activist groups. This broad array of forces suggests that biological control, as a publicinterest science, will require a deliberate intervention, based on advocacy of clear publicinterest criteria. (shrink)
On 21 June 2011 the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania adopted extensive and important amendments of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania. Most of them came into force on 1 October 2011.One of the important tasks that have been mentioned for the preparation of amendments was to ensure the implementation of the Constitutional Court’s doctrine of matters of civil procedure. This article analyses one of the changed aspect - the system of defence of public (...)interest. The doctrine of concept of publicinterest was formed by the resolutions of the Lithuanian Constitutional Court adopted on 16 January and 21 September 2006. That concept was quite confusing and could be interpreted widely as well as narrowly (such as protection of special key values in the Constitution). This paper analyses the manner in which the doctrine of the Constitutional Court has been implemented in the law of civil procedure. In addition, the article analyzes the history of the amendments in the Code of Civil Procedure relating to the protection of publicinterest. The author presents a situation proposed to the Working Group that prepared the draft amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure, and compares the proposals with the effective version of the Code of Civil Procedure. The same article analyses the way that the effective version of the Code of Civil Procedure forces to the protection of the publicinterest doctrine of the Constitutional Court. The author concludes that the current system is conducive to abuses when the state can envisage the existence of publicinterest in every dispute and intervene in its investigation. In addition, the court is transformed into an entity liable to defend publicinterest, while it should be an independent and impartial entity to administer justice. Let us hope that in judicial practice the concept of publicinterest will be interpreted very narrowly and the Code of Civil Procedure provides the right to collect evidence or apply interim protection measures and etc. will be seen as a political mistake and generally will not be applied (except when it comes to non dispositive cases). (shrink)
Media in Question sets the agenda for a revitalized debate on the hybrid communicative practices that constitute the postmodern media landscape: practices that cross the boundaries between fact and fiction, information and entertainment, public knowledge, and popular culture. In this challenging and provocative collection, the individual contributors rethink key issuesùthe meaning of the publicinterest, the quality of media performance, and deregulation. In the process they raise questions rarely addressed in normative media theories, for example, the ethics (...) of sports reporting, the moral reasoning in popular culture, and the required professional standards for infotainment genres such as reality television and gossip journalism. Accessible and wide-ranging, The Media in Question will be essential reading for students in mass communication and political communication studies. (shrink)
In 2007, the Ethics and Governance Council of the UK Biobank commissioned a Report on ‘Concepts of Public Good and Pubic Interest in Access Policies’. This study considered the Biobank’s role as a ‘public good’ in respect to supporting and promoting health throughout society. However, the conditions under which access by third parties to UK Biobank are justified in the publicinterest have not been well considered. In this article, I propose to analyse the conditions (...) that should allow such access. My argument develops UK Biobank’s function as a ‘public good’ and in terms of its responsibilities as a public health institution; both to protect the rights of the participants and in having a role in reinforcing public goals. Although these two tasks may conflict, it is possible that resolute opposition to some third-party access demands—if properly justified in terms of a publicinterest—will be damaging to, rather than protective of, participants’ rights. To illustrate my argument, I consider the appropriate response to an extraordinary public emergency , such as a serious criminal investigation or disaster response, in terms of an ethical access policy. (shrink)
The publicinterest statement contained in the PRSA Code of Professional Standards is unduly vague and provides neither a working definition of publicinterest nor any guidance for the performance of what most professions consider to be a primary value. This paper addresses the question of what might constitute public relations service in the publicinterest, and calls for more stringent guidelines to be developed whereby the profession may advance its service goals more (...) clearly. (shrink)
In this study the author argues that public relations practitioners must not ignore the publicinterest even though the term has been the subject of vigorous debate within both academic and professional circles. The author maintains - not-withstanding the controversy - that the publicinterest is intrinsic to the very definition of what it is public relations people do. He suggests the solution to the definitional problem rests in first formulating an abstract (general) definition, (...) then moving to the operational level. (shrink)
Most bills of rights allow for the restriction of rights in the interests of the public. But how should courts decide when the publicinterest should prevail? This article draws on philosophical work on practical reasoning to argue against the popular view that courts should use a balancing test which weighs the consequences of protecting the right against the consequences of restricting it. It argues that there are good reasons to 'overprotect' rights: judges, in their reasoning, should (...) assign more weight to rights and less weight to the publicinterest than they would on an application of the balancing model. (shrink)
Public dissatisfaction with the news media frequently gives rise to calls for journalists to live up to the ethical standards of their profession. But what if the fault lies in part with the standards themselves?Jeremy Iggers argues that journalism’s institutionalized conversation about ethics largely evades the most important issues regarding the publicinterest and the civic responsibilities of the press. Changes in the ownership and organization of the news media make these issues especially timely; although journalism’s ethics (...) rest on the idea of journalism as a profession, the rise of market-driven journalism has undermined journalists’ professional status.Ultimately, argues Iggers, journalism is impossible without a public that cares about the common life. A more meaningful approach to journalism ethics must begin with a consideration of the role of the news media in a democratic society and proceed to look for practical ways in which journalism can contribute to the vitality of public life.Written in an accessible style, Good News, Bad News is important reading for journalists, communication scholars, and students. (shrink)
Since the early 20th century, advocates of public relations professionalism have mandated that practitioners serve the publicinterest making it an ethical standard for evaluating the morality of public relations practice. However, the field has devoted little research to determining just what it means for practitioners to serve the publicinterest. Most research suggests practice-oriented solutions. This article focuses what practitioners must do to serve the publicinterest. It reviews theories of the (...) social contract and the publicinterest to identify an approach to serving the publicinterest that will help practitioners reconcile moral obligations to themselves, their client organizations, and the public. It concludes that combining superior individual interests with John Dewey's public philosophy will contribute to the moral development and improvement of practitioners and the public. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The Swedish case bears out Lewin's contention, in Self-Interest and PublicInterest in Western Politics, that public spiritedness is much more important than is suggested by public-choice theories positing the universal dominance of self-interestedness. However, in Sweden we find that public spiritedness on the part of the public?as evidenced, for example, in sociotropic voting?was cultivated by political institutions, policies, and rhetoric that transformed a divided, conflictual society into one in which the ? (...) class='Hi'>publicinterest? was both coherent and desirable. In turn, this cultivation was the result of decisions by politicians that were, in the most simplistic sense, self-interested, because they secured the politicians? election and re-election. But the goal of election and re-election was to create a just society. In short, the politicians, too, were public spirited. (shrink)
The sociological models of functionalism and conflict are introduced and utilized to analyze professionalism in the accounting profession as it is manifest in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant's Code of Conduct. Rule 203 of the Code and provisions of the Code related to the publicinterest are examined using semiotic analysis to determine if they are most consistent with the functionalist or conflict models. While the analysis does not address intent of the Code, it is (...) determined that the Code contains semantic defects which result in different interpretations of the Code to different readers. The defects found are most consistent with the conflict model of professionalism. This has implications for the public and for individuals within the profession, making the Code less useful to both groups. The defects are seen as a potential battleground for the self-interest vs the publicinterest orientation of the accounting profession. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Self-Interest and PublicInterest in Western Politics showed that the public, politicians, and bureaucrats are often public spirited. But this does not invalidate public-choice theory. Public-choice theory is an ideal type, not a claim that self-interest explains all political behavior. Instead, public-choice theory is useful in creating rules and institutions that guard against the worst case, which would be universal self-interestedness in politics. In contrast, the public-interest hypothesis is (...) neither a comprehensive explanation of political behavior nor a sound basis for institutional design. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Four decades ago, Gerald Kramer showed that economic conditions affect electoral outcomes. Some researchers took this to mean that voters were self-interested, voting their ?pocketbooks,? while others, such as Leif Lewin, took it to mean that voters were sociotropic, motivated by the publicinterest?and therefore altruistic. It is important, however, to avoid conflating sociotropic voters with altruistic ones. Voters might be voting in favor of politicians or parties that they think will further the public (...) class='Hi'>interest as an indirect route to furthering their own interests, as members of the public. More research, perhaps conducted using novel methodologies, is needed in order to settle the extent to which voters are motivated by self-interest or by the publicinterest. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In its attempt to prove that voters, politicians, and bureaucrats are motivated by the publicinterest, Self-Interest and PublicInterest in Western Politics overlooks a great deal of public-choice research, to which much has been added during the two decades since it was published. The importance of self-interest at both the micro and macro levels of politics becomes clear once one looks not simply at the ?inputs? of a democracy but at its (...) ?outputs? as well. The prevalence of interest groups, the dysfunction of the United States tax code, the lobbying by unions for their members? self-interest, the earmarks in the Patriot Act, the numerous cases of corruption in Western democracies, and the dissatisfaction of citizens with their governments? failings all point to the importance of self-interest in politics. (shrink)
We examined the publicinterest reports of General Motors from 1971 to 1990 and presented the contents thereof herein. The principal areas disclosed by GM during those years that are discussed in this paper were minorities, women, and employment issues, energy and the environment, international operations, automotive safety, and philanthropic activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the publicinterest report as a vehicle through which a firm might disclose information in the public (...)interest. We concluded that there were at least three principal forces driving GM's disclosures. They included public attention focused on, potential costs associated with, and the relative subjectivity of an issue.In reading their publicinterest reports, it became clear that GM is socially responsive in matters of publicinterest. Whether they are socially responsible is a judgment not within the scope of this study. However, we do not preclude the possibility that the report may serve as a vehicle which would build a certain momentum in public responsibility, and thus partially drive decisions made by management in social issues. (shrink)
Next SectionThe precise nature and scope of healthcare confidentiality has long been the subject of debate. While the obligation of confidentiality is integral to professional ethical codes and is also safeguarded under English law through the equitable remedy of breach of confidence, underpinned by the right to privacy enshrined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, it has never been regarded as absolute. But when can and should personal information be made available for statistical and research purposes and (...) what if the information in question is highly sensitive information, such as that relating to the termination of pregnancy after 24 weeks? This article explores the case of In the Matter of an Appeal to the Information Tribunal under section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, concerning the decision of the Department of Health to withhold some statistical data from the publication of its annual abortion statistics. The specific data being withheld concerned the termination for serious fetal handicap under section 1(1)d of the Abortion Act 1967. The paper explores the implications of this case, which relate both to the nature and scope of personal privacy. It suggests that lessons can be drawn from this case about publicinterest and use of statistical information and also about general policy issues concerning the legal regulation of confidentiality and privacy in the future. (shrink)
There has been considerable interest in the literature about how professions operate in both the private and publicinterest. This paper examines this issue in the context of the enforcement of the professional code of conduct of a particular professional accounting association. The paper explores whether certain enforcement actions of the association suggest behaviour motivated at least partially by private interest. It then considers whether the consequences of such behaviour or practices are troubling.
There is a rapidly growing publicinterest in nanotechnology such that people increasingly buy various books to inform themselves about nanotechnology. This paper tries to measure the publicinterest focus on nanotechnology and its relation to the publicinterest in other fields of knowledge by applying a new method. I combine formal network analysis of co-purchase book data with traditional content analysis. The method is successful in identifying the books that the public reads (...) to be informed about nanotechnology, in distinguishing between different kinds and classes of books and thereby between different interest foci and readerships and their relations. The results suggest that nanotechnology is for many the first intense contact with science and technology and that they read a great variety of different kinds of books. Rather than on general introductions to current research written by scientists or science journalists, readers focus on forecasting and visionary literature including business guides, written by software entrepreneurs and business consultants. Unlike expert readers, who connect nanotechnology to other fields of science and engineering, the broader public connects it to visions about dissolving the human/machine distinction. Although the distinction between non-fiction and science fiction is still important for readers, border-crossing authors increasingly blur it. (shrink)
The past few decades have seen patient autonomy ascend to a prime position in health care. Patient consent is seen as a key component to expression of autonomy. Yet, interventions may also be justified without consent because they are deemed to be in the publicinterest. We observe some subtle shifts in balance in these justifications in health care and illustrate these with a range of examples. We hope thereby to stimulate a more explicit debate so that health-care (...) professionals can manage these competing interests. (shrink)
Cloning -- the process of creating a cell, tissue line or even a complete organism from a single cell -- or the strands that led to the cloning of a mammal, Dolly, are not new. Yet the media coverage of Dolly's inception raised a range of reactions from fear or moral repulsion, to cautious optimism. The implications for controlling human reproduction were clearly in the forefront, though many issues about animals emerged as well. On topics of publicinterest (...) such as cloning, historians of biology have the opportunity to make a unique contribution. Such debates are often aired as if they have no precedents, either in biology or in the ethical, moral, and social concerns arising in the public arena. The technology leading to Dolly draws on strands of research going back to the 1890s, and the cycle of public response has been repeated often in the past century. What can we learn from examining these events historically, and how can we -- or should we even try -- to inform public opinion? I think we should try and will outline briefly some of the ways that can work. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the limitations of liberal political theory in relation to the notions of public property and publicinterest. I argue that the fundamentally atomistic and individualistic ontological foundations of the liberal tradition preclude any coherent notion of public goods and publicinterest.
Most environmental philosophers have had little use for 'conventional' philosophical and political thought. This is unfortunate, because these traditions can greatly contribute to environmental ethics and policy discussions. One mainstream concept of potential value for environmental philosophy is the notion of the publicinterest. Yet even though the publicinterest is widely acknowledged to be a powerful ethical standard in public affairs and public policy, there has been little agreement on its descriptive meaning. A (...) particularly intriguing account of the concept in the literature, however, may be found in the work of the American pragmatist John Dewey. Dewey argued that the publicinterest was to be continuously constructed through the process of free, cooperative inquiry into the shared good of the democratic community. This Deweyan model of the publicinterest has much to offer environmental philosophers who are interested in making connections between normative arguments and environmental policy discourse, and it holds great promise for enhancing environmental philosophy's role and impact in public life. (shrink)
Whether or not a public relations code of ethics should be enforced, among others, has become one of the most widely controversial topics, especially after the Hill and Knowlton case in 1992. I take the position that ethical codes should be enforced and address this issue from eight aspects: (a) Is a code of ethics an absolute prerequisite of professionalism? (b) Should problems of rhetoric per se in a code of ethics become a rationale against code enforcement? (c) Is (...) a code of ethics of any significance? (d) Is the ethical code is enforceable, (e) Would the licensure system interfere with the freedom of expression of the practitioners? (f) Do PR practitioners choose to be ethical (if they do) because they have to be or because they want to be? (g) Would the publicinterest be virtually assured as a result of a public relations? and (h) Can education in ethics overcome the ethical problems in public relations? (shrink)
This article about the social responsibility of the large corporation is not a paper about stewardship in general. If it were, it would have to focus primarily on the principle of long-term market accountability and the related principle of fidelity to long-term stockholder interests. Most of management's stewardship responsibilities can be subsumed under those two principles.This paper will deal with areas in which those two principles alone are not adequate to define management's stewardship responsibilities. These areas of social accountability occur (...) chiefly where the interests of employees or the general public are at stake — where their human and social purposes sometimes collide with the more limited commercial purposes of the large corporation. (shrink)
This collection explores the subject of conflicts of interest. It investigates how to manage conflicts of interest, how they can affect well-meaning professionals, and how they can limit the effectiveness of corporate boards, undermine professional ethics, and corrupt expert opinion. Legal and policy responses are considered, some of which (e.g., disclosure) are shown to backfire and even fail. The results offer a sobering prognosis for professional ethics and for anyone who relies on professionals who have conflicts of (...) class='Hi'>interest. The contributors are leading authorities on the subject in the fields of law, medicine, management, public policy, and psychology. The nuances of the problems posedby conflicts of interest will be highlighted for readers in an effort to demonstrate the manyways that structuring incentives can affect decision making and organizations' financial well-being. (shrink)
The standard of disinterested objectivity embedded within the US Data Quality Act (2001) has been used by corporate and political interests as a way to limit the dissemination of scientific research results that conflict with their goals. This is an issue that philosophers of science can, and should, publicly address because it involves an evaluation of the strength and adequacy of evidence. Analysis of arguments from a philosophical tradition that defended a concept of useful knowledge (later displaced by Logical Empiricism) (...) is used here to suggest how the legitimacy of scientific findings can be supported in the absence of disinterested objectivity. (shrink)
Some in public relations have suggested that practitioners adopt a philosophy of enlightened self-interest as an ethical baseline. The author contends that such a theory must be rejected because even the enlightened variety does not adequately weigh the needs of significant others - a central consideration in any effort to define ethical behavior. The author maintains that genuine sacrifice - at times required of those desiring to do the right thing - clearly can conflict with any theory espousing (...) self-interest as a baseline. Further, there is a social dimension to ethics. By virtue of occupational title, the author holds that public relations practitioners have a particular responsibility to advance the social order. Ethical behavior - especially as it relates to public relations - must go well beyond a narrow concern that no injustice is done to individual persons. (shrink)
In newly emerging democracies, succeeding governments have numerous policy tasks for the purpose of developing the free market and the democratic process. In such legal systems, policy-oriented views of law, which regard law as a policy tool for diminishing public problems, seem descriptively pertinent and prescriptively helpful. This is also the case in mature democratic legal systems, where the public problems faced by governments become more and more complex. Policy-directional views of law do not necessarily imply that law (...) is a value-neutral means that can serve any possible political ends. It is widely recognized among legal theorists and practitioners, with notable exceptions represented by exclusive legal positivists, that the law involves moral values, including justice and liberty. In the present essay, I focus on one version of policy-oriented views of law that is based on the fundamental ideals of justice and interest. By sketching out this version, I attempt to shed new light on some concepts and issues in jurisprudence. To begin, I articulate the concept of justice and identify the difficulties that interest-based conceptions of justice encounter, by referring to some classical works. I also make a distinction between different conceptions of interest. Next, the two basic concepts in law — rights and liberty — are explained in terms of justice and interest. Efficiency, which has been largely neglected in traditional jurisprudence notwithstanding its practical significance, is also briefly discussed. Then, I turn to exploring the implications that the law-as-policy theory grounded on justice and interest might have for the foundations of two legal domains: criminal law and laws governing political participation. Some allegations and objections against this theory are described, and responses to them are given. The essay concludes by noting the questions that remain open in this theory. (shrink)
In Britain I have had many occasions to speak at public Inquiries, nearly always against some proposal to build a new road in some locality I live in or like. I have often had thoughts about how very bad the British system is, and how much better these question are considered and decided elsewhere, and in thinking about the matter have been led to ponder the nature of the decision being reached, and the proper principles which ought to govern (...) the decision procedure. (shrink)
This article provides an understanding and defence of ‘best interests’. The analysis is performed in the context of, and is informed by, English law. The understanding that develops allows for differences in values, and is thus argued to be appropriate in a pluralist liberal system. When understood properly, it is argued, best interests provides the best means of decision-making for people deemed incompetent to decide for themselves. It is accepted that some commentators are cynical of best interests in practice. Following (...) an assessment of some of their principal concerns, it is suggested that best interests in fact provides a construct that is both defensible and desirable. (shrink)
While a ubiquitous phenomenon, initial public offerings (IPOs) have received no attention in the ethics literature. We provide an overview of a series of potential conflicts of interest that pervade the IPO process. We also report the results of an empiricalassessment of IPOs and those elements that may inform a substantive moral hazard faced by key players in the period prior to and justafter an IPO.
A functioning democracy depends on the free flow of information in the marketplace of ideas, creating an informed citizenry that can engage in public debate.This study examines the most-used online news portal, Yahoo!, to determine if the news media industry can be simultaneously profitable and socially responsible, providing the public with news that is both informative and engaging in an increasingly global world.
Cognitive enhancement may be defined as the amplification or extension of core capacities of the mind through improvement or augmentation of internal or external information processing systems. Cognition refers to the processes an organism uses to organize information. These include acquiring information (perception), selecting (attention), representing (understanding) and retaining (memory) information, and using it to guide behavior (reasoning and coordination of motor outputs). Interventions to improve cognitive function may be directed at any of these core faculties.
This paper approaches the question of corporate integrity and leadership from a civic perspective, which means that corporations are seen as members of civil society, corporate members are seen as citizens, and corporate decisions are guided by civic norms. Corporate integrity, from this perspective, requires that the communication patterns that constitute interpersonal relationships at work exhibit the civic norm of reciprocity and acknowledge the need for security and the right to participate. Since leaders are members of corporate relationships, their integrity (...) will be determined by the integrity of these interpersonal relationships, and by their efforts to improve them. (shrink)
James Madison is the thinker most responsible for laying the groundwork of the American commercial republic. But he did not anticipate that the propertied class on which he relied would become extraordinarily politically powerful at the same time as its interests narrowed. This and other flaws, argues Stephen L. Elkin, have undermined the delicately balanced system he constructed. In Reconstructing the Commercial Republic , Elkin critiques the Madisonian system, revealing which of its aspects have withstood the test of time and (...) which have not. The deficiencies Elkin points out provide the starting point for his own constitutional theory of the republic—a theory that, unlike Madison’s, lays out a substantive conception of the publicinterest that emphasizes the power of institutions to shape our political, economic, and civic lives. Elkin argues that his theory should guide us toward building a commercial republic that is rooted in a politics of the publicinterest and the self-interest of the middle class. He then recommends specific reforms to create this kind of republic, asserting that Americans today can still have the lives a commercial republic is intended to promote: lives with real opportunities for economic prosperity, republican political self-government, and individual liberty. (shrink)