Mission Statement

There is a salient need to study the normative and ethical questions that arise in the context of the globalization of politics, economies, and communications, and to approach these questions through diverse cultural perspectives and more cosmopolitan frameworks of human rights and democracy across borders. The Center for Global Ethics and Politics (CGEP) aims to foster collaborative research and introduce innovative public programs on these themes, and contributes a distinctive normative focus to the range of activities of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, directed by Prof. Thomas Weiss. The Center for Global Ethics and Politics highlights ethical issues in public and international affairs, responding to the calls for more responsible forms of government, business, and social life at local, national, and global levels. It aims to serve as a locus for intercultural dialogue with the goal of facilitating new forms of cooperation and governance across borders.

A Center that analyzes the normative implications of democratic politics and works towards a more global perspective in ethics can also provide an important resource for faculty and students. In regard to ethics and public affairs, it is clearly important for citizens—of the nation or the globe—to be cognizant of the moral problems and the diverse frameworks that are available for addressing them. In some areas, e.g., human rights, new agreement on certain standards and laws across borders is necessary. The Center aims to help initiate dialogues and discussion that are preliminary to these agreements. It also engages in research that may contribute to the development of more global theoretical frameworks for values and norms themselves, which nonetheless give due weight to the diversity of cultural and national communities.

Focus Areas

The Center for Global Ethics & Politics aims to develop new insight, through research and publications, on matters of international concern including:

  • issues of globalization and ethics—that is, ethical questions and dilemmas, whether for individuals or societies—that arise in view of economic, technological, legal, political, social, and cultural globalization
  • intercultural perspectives on ethics—that is, interpretations of ethical doctrines and core ideas based on new dialogue between diverse cultural perspectives
  • the possibilities of arriving at cosmopolitan or more global ethical perspectives on such important themes as human rights and democracy

Beyond the consideration of these normative issues, the Center considers various approaches to increasing democratic participation in the institutions of global governance and fulfilling human rights globally. It also pursues research on initiatives to improve global political responsiveness and transnational representation.

Research Activities Associated with the Center:

Center for Global Ethics & Politics Research Projects

Center for Global Ethics & Politics collaborative research project. “Corporate Personhood and Moral Responsibility,” sponsored by the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Center for Global Ethics & Politics, two ongoing collaborative research projects. “Social and Economic Human Rights,” and “The Role of Empathy in Global Politics.”

Research Colloquia, ongoing series (2010-present), Center for Global Ethics & Politics.

Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series, The Mellon Foundation. Carol Gould, lead Director, Graduate Center, The City University of New York. Topic: “Democratic Citizenship and the Recognition of Cultural Differences,” 2011-13. In collaboration with Professors Ruth O’Brien and Richard Wolin (Political Science) and Prof. Omar Dahbour (Philosophy).

Publications by Carol Gould

  • Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014 (hardcover and paperback).
  • “Human Rights and Social Ontology,” in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, ed. Rowan Cruft, Matthew Liao, and Massimo Renzo (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014).
  • “Is there a Human Right to Democracy?” in Human Rights: The Hard Questions, ed. Cindy Holder and David Reidy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • “Beyond the Dual Crisis: From Climate Change to Democratic Change,” Response to Question for a Resilient Future: “Can Democracy in Crisis deal with the Climate Crisis? Center for Humans and Nature, 2012.—carol-gould-response-50.php An expanded version will appear in the journal Minding Nature (Winter, 2014).
  • “Retrieving Positive Freedom and Why it Matters,” Isaiah Berlin and the Politics of Freedom” ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ 50 years Later, ed. Bruce Baum and Robert Nichols (New York: Routledge, 2012).
  • “Regional vs. Global Democracy: Advantages and Limitations,” in Global Democracy: Normative and Empirical Perspectives, ed. Daniele Archibugi, Mathias Koenig-Archibugi and Raffaele Marchetti (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
  • “Approaching Global Justice through Human Rights: Elements of Theory and Practice,”inDistributive Justice and International Economic Law, ed. Chi Carmody, Frank Garcia, and John Linarelli (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010).
  • “Varieties of Global Responsibility: Reflections on Iris Marion Young’s Last Writings,”Dancing with Iris: Between Phenomenology and the Body Politic in the Political Philosophy of Iris Marion Young, ed. Ann Ferguson and Mechthild Nagel (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • “Moral Issues in Globalization,”Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics, ed. George Brenkert and Tom Beauchamp (Oxford University Press, 2009, in press).
  • “Structuring Global Democracy: Political Communities, Universal Human Rights, and Transnational Representation,” Special Issue,Metaphilosophy, January, 2009.
  • “Envisioning Transnational Democracy: Cross-Border Communities and Regional Human Rights Frameworks,” inAltered States: Politics after Democracy, ed. Omar Dahbour, Ashley Dawson, Heather Gautney, & Neil Smith (London: Routledge, 2009).
  • “Women’s Human Rights as Equality through Difference,” inGender Identities in a Globalized Society, ed. Ana Marta Gonzalez and Victor J. Seidler (Amherst, NY: Prometheus/Humanity Books, 2008).
  • “Reconceiving Autonomy and Universality as Norms for Global Democracy,” inGlobal Democracy and its Difficulties, ed. Anthony J Langlois and Karol Edward Soltan (London: Routledge, 2008), 160-172.
  • “Culture, Care, and the Political: A Response to Chatterjee, Tronto, and Schwartz onGlobalizing Democracy and Human Rights,The Good Society, Vol. 16, no. 3 (2007): 74-79.
  • “The New Global Ethics and its Three Faces,” inEthics in an Era of Globalization, ed. Wim Vandekerckhove, M. S. Ronald Commers, and An Verlinden (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008), 13-26.
  • Transnational Power, Coercion, and Democracy,” inCoercion and the State, ed. David A. Reidy and Walter J. Riker (Berlin: Springer, 2008), 189-202.
  • “The Theory of Universal Human Rights: A Comment on Talbott,”Human Rights Review, Vol. 9, no. 2 (June, 2008): 157-165.
  • “RecognitioninRedistribution: Care and Diversity in Global Justice,”Southern Journal of Philosophy,46 (2007, Supplement): 91-103.
  • “Coercion, Care, and Corporations: Omissions and Commissions in Thomas Pogge’s Political Philosophy,”The Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 3, no. 3 (Dec., 2007): 381-393.
  • “Negotiating the Global and the Local: Situating Transnational Democracy and Human Rights,” inDemocracy in a Global World: Human Rights and Political Participation in the 21st Century,ed. Deen K. Chatterjee (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), 71-87.
  • “Transnational Solidarities,” Special Issue on Solidarity, ed. Carol Gould and Sally Scholz,Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 38, no. 1, (Spring, 2007): 146-162.
  • “Global Democratic Transformation and the Internet,”Technology, Science and Social Justice,Social Philosophy Today, Volume 22, ed. John R. Rowan (Charlottesville, VA: Philosophy Documentation Center, 2007), 73-88.

Papers Presented

  • “Power-with and Participatory Politics: National and Transnational,” American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, August 31, 2013.
  • “Violence, Power-With and the Human Right to Democracy,” International Political Science Association Conference, Madrid, Spain, July 9th, 2012 and to the Social and Political Philosophy Workshop (SPP) and Social and Political Theory Student Association (SPTSA), The Graduate Center, CUNY, February 21, 2013.
  • “What is Emancipatory Networking?” Conference on “Democracy on the Net- or in the Net?,” Aosta, Italy, June 28-30, 2012.
  • “Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Violation: Issues of Equality, Culture, and Privacy,” Conference on Social Justice and Domestic Violence,” Ankara University Law Faculty, Ankara, Turkey, April 3, 2012.
  • “Violence, Power-With, and the Interdependence of Human Rights” Conference on Violence and Human Rights, Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey, April 2, 2012.
  • “Democratic Management and International Labor Rights,” Global Justice and International Labor Law Workshop, University of Haifa, January 3-6, 2012 and to the Workshop on Global
  • Ethics and Capitalism, Michigan State University, October 5-6, 2013.
  • “Is there a Human Right to Democracy?” 25th IVR World Congress (International Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy), Frankfurt, Germany, August 15, 2011.
  • “The Human Right to Democracy and its Global Import,” Plenary Address, Conference on Global Democracy, Australian National University, Centre for Deliberative Democracy andGlobal Governance, August 4-5, 2011.
  • “Regional vs. Global Democracy: Advantages and Limitations,” 60th Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, March 31, 2010; American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, September 5, 2010; International Studies Association Annual Convention, Montreal, Canada, March 18, 2011.
  • “Does Global Justice Presuppose Global Solidarity?” Workshop on Problems of Social Solidarity, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, February 12, 2010; Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, October 18, 2010; AMINTAPHIL, Rochester Institute of Technology, October 22, 2010; Programme for Applied Ethics, Norwegian University of Science and 15 Technology in Trondheim, Norway, November 18, 2010; Conference on Motivation and Global Justice, The University of York, York, UK, June 22, 2011; Dept. of Philosophy Colloquium, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, August 9, 2011; Dept. of Philosophy Colloquium, University of Melbourne, August 11, 2011.
  • “Human Rights, Culture, and Gender Equality in Adjudication,” Plenary Address, International Law Conference, Ankara Bar Association, Ankara, Turkey, January 14, 2010; sponsored by the US Specialists and Speakers Program, US Department of State.
  • “Dialogue and Deliberation in the Global Public Sphere,” Scholar-in-Residence, Dept. of English and Humanities, York College of Pennsylvania, York, PA, November 17-18, 2009.
  • “Diversity, Democracy, and Dialogue in a Human Rights Framework,” Plenary Address, 24th IVR World Congress (Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy), Beijing, China, September 17, 2009.
  • “Deliberation across Borders: Traversing Contested Concepts and Global Inequalities,” Plenary Address, International Deliberative Democracy Symposium, Istanbul Aydin University, Istanbul, Turkey, April 15-16, 2009; and at North American Society for Social Philosophy Annual Conference, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, August 1, 2009.
  • “Retrieving Positive Freedom and Why It Matters,” Conference on “50 years since Berlin’s ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’” St. John’s College, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, October 18-19, 2008.
  • Presidential Address, American Section, International Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy Conference (IVR), Villanova University, September 27, 2008.
  • “Approaching Global Justice through Human Rights, Care, and Solidarity: Elements of Cosmopolitan Theory and Practice,” North American Society for Social Philosophy International Conference, Portland, Oregon, July 18, 2008.
  • “Do Cosmopolitan Ethics and Cosmopolitan Democracy entail each other?” Keynote Address, International Global Ethics Association, Melbourne, Australia, June 26-28.
  • “Envisioning Transnational Democracy: Cross-Border Communities and Regional Human Rights Frameworks,” Dept. of Philosophy and the Center for Liberal Education, Villanova University, April 1st, 2008; Dept. of Politics, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, June 17, 2008; and Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), Australian National University, June 20, 2008.
  • Featured speaker, with Hans Blix, conference on “Global Democracy: A Global Assessment,” University of Stockholm, Sweden, May 8-9, 2008.
  • “Approaching Global Justice through Human Rights: Elements of Theory and Practice,” Conference on Global Egalitarianism, Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, April 10-11, 2008; Keynote Address, Australian Society of Legal Philosophy, University of Melbourne Law School, Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2008; Dept. of Philosophy, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, June 23, 2008; Conference of the International Legal Theory Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, Washington, DC, November 7, 2008.
  • “Democracy, Globalization, and Human Rights,” Dept. of Philosophy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, April 28, 2008.
  • “Global Democracy and Transnational Representation: Relating Political Communities and Universal Human Rights,” International Studies Association, San Francisco, CA, March 26, 2008.
  • Invited panelist, Author meets Critics session: James Nickel’sMaking Sense of Human Rights, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, March 22, 2008
  • Commentary and Chair, Panel on Participation and Democracy, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, Baltimore, MD, December 28, 2007.
  • “RecognitioninRedistribution: Care and Diversity in Global Justice,” Spindel Conference on Feminist Ethics and Politics, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, October 19, 2007; and Dept. of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, June 3, 2008.

Image Credits: Michael Gould-Wartofsky