Ethics of Administration – Towards Sustainability and Cosmopolitanism


A starting point of such an investigation should be the risk of moral blindness and no ethics in relation to the present global crisis in public organizations and institutions. Public administration ethics deals with the formulation of the ethical theories and principles that define administration ethics in public bureaucracies and political institutions. We can say that public administration ethics concerns the need for practical reason and wisdom in relation to complex decision-making. In this context administration ethics and political judgment is important for the legislative, executive and jurisdictional powers. We can say that the proposal of an ethics for administration as political judgment aims at increasing ethical formulation competence as well the political system, administration and legal system as such.



1. Changed conditions for administration ethics: the competition state

But what is the ethics of administration? In Europe and not least in Denmark there is a long tradition of professional bureaucracies, independent from the political decision-maker, i.e. first the King and later from the democratic government. These bureaucracies are supposed to function as agents, technological machineries to the disposal of the principal, the political decision-maker. Today, this machinery is supposed to be loyal to the political decision-maker as long as this decision-maker does not violate basic principles of the constitution and of democratic politics. In a democratic society, the administration should function as protector and promoter of the democratic values of the constitution and the democratic political culture. In this sense we can argue that the traditional values of administration ethics in Europe was Weber’s ideal of political vocation combined with an ethics of professional responsibility.

In contrast to the European system many Americans have praised the fact that they did not have the same technological bureaucracies as in Europe. With the doctrine of the balance of powers and dynamic interaction between political, legal and executive systems it has been argued that the US system is based on checks and balances rather than independent powers with the administration as a system of social technology to implement political decisions. Here, it has been said that the US system of administration was more open to democracy and political evaluations of the bureaucracy. It is in this context that Ronald Dworkin has developed his legal philosophy of a matter of principles and rights in contrast to objective rules and regulations.[1]  The ideal of the political administrator in the US legal system is the figure of the judge Hercules, who in addition to his perfect knowledge about political and legal theory and practice, is also committed to ethical ideals of political morality, integrity and defense of the basic principles and regulations of the constitution.

However, it may be proposed that these classical ideals of the ethics of administration face a great challenge with the recent changes and transitions of policy-making in the national and international political community. Since the 1990s there has been a transformation and transition of the classical bureaucratic welfare state in both Europe and the US towards a more flexible, efficient, service-oriented and interventionist state that include concepts of management from private business corporations in public administration. The concept of new public management focusing on service and economic use of resources has been promoted in order to ensure the efficiency of administrations and state bureaucracies. It is the economic paradigm of governance technologies for production and competition rather than a democratic paradigm of political morality that is essential for the public administration.

With these new forms of management we can say that the neoliberal state has replaced the classical bureaucratic state. As Michel Foucault suggests the neoliberal state emerged after the Second World War as an alternative to the totalitarian regime where one party was in power.[2] What is characteristic of the neoliberal state is that it is an active interventionist state, present in all spheres of society rather than a passive Night watchman state as it was the case in classical liberalism. In fact, at the national and international level this kind of state has taken over from the classical liberal state and the neoliberal state functions more than a business corporation or than a traditional civic and political community. In particular, we see this in the way the state tries to run its different organizations and institutions, i.e. universities, hospitals, schools, military etcetera. Here principles of new public management are applied to public institutions and organizations and when this does not ensure efficiency the tasks are handed over to private businesses in broader networks between public and private agencies in order to ensure more competition and economic efficiency in carrying out the tasks by the involved partners.

Accordingly, following the Danish political scientist Ove Kaj Pedersen, we can say that the state with these developments of new public management and new political priorities has taken a new historical form. Inspired by works of business economists like Michael Porter with his theory of competition between nations, Pedersen calls this state form “the competition state”, i.e. a political form where it is the basic ideology and aim of the state to be in economic and social competition with other states in order to increase welfare and prosperity. [3] This competitive aim is implemented everywhere in the state and it also becomes a major task of every citizen to take part in this competitive game. With this we can say that it has become the task of the administrator and bureaucrat to contribute to this development of the competition state. But this also raises the question about what kind of ethics and what values should be values of the administrator in the competition state. It is indeed interesting that Pedersen emphasizes that ethics and codes of ethics have become even more important in the competition state than they were in the classical welfare state, because the administrator is no longer considered as a traditional Weberian bureaucrat, but as an active manager of the organizations and institutions of the competition state as a business corporation.



2. Challenges to administration ethics: crisis and corruption

At the moment it seems like the western world exports the concept of the competition state and of new public management to all other countries in the world. Accordingly, any ethics of administration has become a global challenge. And in this context the world faces some serious challenges with regard to public administration, in order to find appropriate economic and political solutions.  In particular we can mention the a) global economic and environmental crisis; a b) global crisis of bribery and corruption; a c) global crisis of the public institutions and organizations in civil society: all as issues facing the ethics of public administration.


a) The global economic and financial crisis is closely linked with the environmental crisis. In combination the financial crisis and the environmental crisis constitute a world crisis. This can be formulated as a crisis for the present world economic system, including a main-stream concept of the competition state focusing on economic growth. The problem is that the present model of economic expansion, based on profits and credits, does not help to solve our present environmental crisis where a non-sustainable fossil-oil-based economy increases the CO2 problem and the global climate crisis. As the Danish science journalist Jørgen Steen Nielsen has stated it – we need a transition to another kind of economy moving beyond competition and growth.[4] Nielsen does not think that green growth is enough. It is like “having your cake and eating it too”. In his view we must move beyond growth, towards de-growth and economy of scarcity, where we have to face that we must move from an era of plenty towards an era of scarcity. Nielsen thinks we need a new ecological economics, as proposed by Jeremy Rifkin and Herman Daly, an economics that can propose a sustainable development in order to deal with the financial crisis, the food crisis and the climate crisis. Nielsen does not think it enough to propose strategies for sustainable development, combining growth and sustainability. If we look at companies like Walmart, IKEA, Virgin and Coca-Cola, which have tried to combine growth and sustainability, we see that they have not been able to promote real green growth, but despite good intentions efforts for combination of green growth and efficient consumption they have led to more consumption, so that efforts of CO2 reduction paradoxically also implies CO2 consumption so that a green growth economy has difficulties in being sustainable.[5]

The reason for this is that the paradigm of green growth relies on main-stream economics and it does not change the presuppositions of main-stream economics, which is based on the rational paradigm of growth, in turn based on the laws of individual maximizing actors according to the laws of supply and demand in competition on a market with the possibility of endless expansion. In order to really promote a green economy we will have to go beyond the principles of main-stream economics and realize that resources are limited, no economic actor is isolated, that we do not have transparent or full knowledge about our actions, that causality is non-linear and indeed that there are limits to growth and that the earth is not an infinite system of resources. [6]

So the problem of the economic and environmental crisis also becomes a problem of the competition state in so far as the idea of the competition state is the product of main-stream economics. We may ask whether there is a crisis for main-stream economics or whether there is a deeper system crisis of the world system including its development of the competition state as present paradigm of public governance. According to Nielsen, there is really no question because he sees it as a deeper system crisis where we must move beyond the concepts of major economists like and Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Keynes, towards a new transition of our economic systems where we learn that social and individual happiness should not be based on economic growth. Accordingly, the defender of an ecological economics argues for a transition towards another economics where we relate critically towards the dogmas of mainstream economics including 1) What cannot be measured economically, does not count 2) The environment is an externality 3) What cannot be measured cannot be discussed 4) Short-term return should not be scarified for long-term investment 5) Risk and probability can be calculated in a price 6) Everything has a price 7) Profit maximization is integrated in business and new public management 8) Markets are efficient and regulation not efficient 9) You can predict the future by using the past as a model.[7]

Against these concepts of main-stream economics Nielsen argues that neoliberal economics should be overcome be a new international ecological economics. This implies zero growth, non-economic growth and economic sustainability instead of obsession with growth and competition. We can here mention the concept of “steady-state economics” as it has been developed by Herman Daly. Such a new economics could contain the following elements: 1) Sustainable limits of consumption 2) Ecological tax reforms 3) Limit inequality in income 4) New measure for progress 5) Reform of the financial sector 6) New relation between work/free time 7) Informal economy improvement 8) Regulation of international trade 9) Formation of new kinds of corporations/firms focusing on non-profit or sustainable profits. [8]

Moreover such a concept of prosperity without growth would include effort to make the international market for CO2 quota well-functioning. It would also avoid to use growth as a substitute for equality, but define ”fair” equality within a sustainable economics. Accordingly, such a transition would really move the economy beyond growth towards sustainability.

This vision of a transition towards another ecological economy is really a challenge to the competition state. Is it really possible to make the transition towards another economics and keep the new public management of the competition state or do we have to develop another model of the state to have a new economic system? Moreover, we may ask whether it is necessary to have a new ethics of administration if we want to change the economic system towards ecological economics. But we should also discuss whether it is really true that we cannot have green growth because while we have a well developed main-stream economics there is really very little theoretical and philosophical work done on ecological economics, necessary for a transition towards a new economic system.


b) While countries like the Scandinavian welfare states have nearly zero corruption and bribery and therefore can deal with issues of administration ethics that may seem very academic from the point of view of many countries in the world, most states, also in Europe, have serious problems of public officials who are corrupt and use their position to personal gain and opportunistic behavior. In a global perspective corruption and bribery are the most pressing issue of public administration ethics.

Corruption can be defined as the use of money or gifts to get certain kinds of benefits and advantages. In case of the public administrator it is the acceptance or requirement of bribery in the profession that indicates the level of corruption. A society with corruption is a society without trust and integrity and in this sense a society with no justice or fairness. In this sense, with Alain Etchegoyen, we may define corruption as a “theater of operations where the state and democracy are the only certain and sure victims”. [9]

Corruption is therefore an attack on the political economy of society and it is related to the structures of gift-giving, of recognition and of economic exchange of a specific society. In this sense corruption is also the negation of established structures of social exchange in a specific society and this is why corruption is so dangerous for democracy and the political economy of societies. Being the negation of positive structures of exchange, merit and social development, corruption is a model of destruction and dissolution of society. We can say that corruption represents nothingness, an opposition within the positive social and economic structure of the relations of justice and gift-giving. If bribery is used to get a specific social advantage or product, the relation of the free and fair competition on the economic market is suspended by an act of buying privileges which otherwise should be acquired by free choice.

Accordingly, the social and political implications of corruption are important. Corruption attacks the fundamental political and social structures of a just society. Political corruption and bribery of politicians and public officials represent a challenge to the democratic unity of society because individuals are not getting privileges on the basis of merit, transparency or universally valid criteria, but rather in terms of their own power and ability to bribe the political system. This personal unfair search for power is in danger of bribing the public system. [10]

Without proper checks and balances as well as conceptions of fairness and justice corruption will be a danger to the institutions of a democratic society. In this sense we can point to the importance of democratic institutions in a society as the most efficient way to avoid corruption. This may also be the reason why democratic societies are the most active in formulating legislation forbidding any kind of bribery and corrupt practices. We can, for example, mention the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act from the end of 1970s that was very severe in ruling out any kind of bribery by US private and public institutions at home and abroad.[11] This was done in order to avoid the strong corruption of the state system.

However, we still face the challenges of corruption in private and public systems of democratic states. We can mention different attempts to bribe judges, police or public officials in order to gain personal advantage by individuals. Or we can mention bribery activities of corporations contributing to lobbying of government ministers or government officials in order to promote their interests or give private enterprises better contracts as the basis for collaboration with states. We can also mention international movement of capitals where corporations, in contrast to established rules, still act with corruption-like practices, for example when dealing with new contracts on foreign markets. Here we face the danger of international manipulation with powers of governments in different countries.


c) Accordingly, there is an important transition between the combating of corruption and the ethical integrity of public officials in relation to civil society. We can emphasize the importance of freedom in civil society for the legitimacy of the social order. In democratic society the promotion of freedom and equality through recognition are central for institutional legitimacy.  Important virtues of administration ethics in civil society are the active commitment to this society and the protection of citizens with recognition and respect for their citizenship and active participation in society. The public administrator should be actively committed to the promotion of activities in civil society as an indicator of the level of social coherence and trust in a society.



3. Values of administration ethics: cosmopolitanism and sustainability

So with the global challenges to public administration what should be the values of public administration ethics? We may ask why there has been so little corruption in the Scandinavian welfare states. Here, we can find some practical values of the history of public administration in the public sector in Scandinavia.[12] Traditionally, for example in Denmark, there has  been a strong public ethos, based on the values of professional ethics of the employees in the public sector. These values have contributed to the definition of a common identity in national and local government. Historically, values are important for the development of the Danish state from a Rechtsstaat, built on the rule of law to a welfare or social state and later to a market or competition state.

Values of professional ethics define the organizational identity in the public organizations.[13] Important for understanding public administration is the power of a common ethos or coherence that was based on the integrity implicit in the classical idea of the civil servant with the values of responsibility, integrity, professionalism and fairness that defined the public administration of the state built on the rule of law. However, with the changes in public administration towards new public management and market innovation we also see a challenge to the classical values that can no longer be taken for given. Recent developments of the welfare state towards competition state has challenged the classical values and focus on efficiency and economic calculation has implied a challenge to the legitimacy of the traditional values of the public sector.[14]

We can also say that the emergence of new public management and the challenges of globalization seem to emphasize the need for a new responsibility of the public administrator. Here, we could say that we need a cosmopolitan world vision or value ethos of the public administrator. In fact Peter Kemp’s ideas in his books about A Citizen of the World could be proposed as an ideal value for public administration ethics.[15] We can say that a commitment to a vision of solving world problems including concerns for sustainability, the environment and human rights should be proposed as an important part of the consciousness of the values for the public sector.

This cosmopolitan approach to the concept of world citizenship would be applied to the ethics of administration, meaning that administrators should be educated to be citizens of the world who see themselves as responsible for dealing with the problems of civilization, including the problems of the economy and economic crisis, of human rights and of the sustainable development of humanity. Following this theme of cosmopolitanism, a central problem of ethics of administration would be the education of public officials in the social and political ideal of cosmopolitanism, sustainability and human rights.

This is indeed important as we are aware of the need of cosmopolitan governance in order to confront the global economic and environmental problems of today.[16] It would be important that the new values of public administration be able to internalize the concern for sustainable development in a global perspective with the ability to combine the global and the local in the practical approach to the professional work as an administrator. Here, it is also important to give the administrator a sufficiently large social and political horizon so that the administrator can see problems both from the perspective of local administration of the nation state, but also more globally from the perspective of a cosmopolitan concern for humanity.

In this context it is important that the values of the public administrator are related to the work of the United Nations on sustainability, according to the Brundtland Report of the World Commission on the environment, such that it includes ethical, social, scientific, economic and legal dimensions of sustainable development.[17] Important for the ethics of administration is that sustainability contains an element of justice and responsibility related to fair distribution of resources and capabilities and in relation to the environment and present and future generations. Accordingly, cultivation to be a world citizen is not only an ideal for education, but indeed also a practical virtue for the ethics of administration.

Applied to public administration, the idea of cultivation that is central to Peter Kemp’s vision of education for the world citizen would include a broader political and social concern in the professional ethics of administration. And we may also mention Paul Ricoeur’s ethical vision of the “good life with and for the other in just institutions”, as yardstick of the ethics of administration.[18] As the education for cosmopolitanism is considered as a part of citizenship education, such an education would also be considered as important for enlarging the ethical horizon and values of public administration.



4. Theoretical Framework for administration ethics

But what is the theoretical framework for this kind of administration ethics today? In fact, we can see a confrontation between constructive concepts of the democratic state as the basis for administration ethics on the one hand and critical views de-masking the power and instrumental rationality of the competition state on the other hand.

Defenders of a democratic administration ethics would argue that – hidden behind the competition state –  we find the classical ideals of the Rechtsstaat, built on the rule of law are still alive. As stated by the modern political philosophies of Rousseau and Kant, the social contract implies that free and equal human beings submit themselves to a political power in order to provide mutual protection of their rights. The state and its institutions protect the fundamental rights of the citizens. In a modern democracy the legitimacy of the state is provided by the general will and by the protection of fundamental rights. As a deliberative democracy social and political rights and duties are results of communicative, political deliberations based on mutual respect and recognition. Moreover, as suggested by Montesquieu the principle of the strict separation of powers (judicial, executive and legislative) and later the balances of power are essential aspects of a democratic political community.

As suggested by Axel Honneth in his recent book Das Recht der Freiheit (2011), deliberative decision making is the essential legitimacy principle of democratic society. We can say that we have experienced the social institutionalization of principles of democracy through the emergence of the free public sphere in Western democracies. Here equality of citizens and liberal rights of freedom based on the constitution are essential for creating a democratic public sphere. The morality of citizens is created through the institutionalization of social and democratic public spheres and debates. The normative idea of social freedom is a result of a democratic public sphere.[19] Public exchange of opinion is essential for this democratic public sphere in modern society. That the democratic legal state is built on the rule of law implies the realization of social liberty. The rule of law is a reflexive dimension of the state. The concept by Habermas about Verfassungspatriotismus is a good expression of this role of the commitment of citizen and the civil servant to the values of the democratic state.  

Defenders of a more critical approach to the possibility of administration ethics follow the work of authors like Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. In the perspective of these authors there is the danger than administration ethics becomes its own opposite and turns into an instrumental management technology.

Following Foucault we can say that administration ethics would be included in the biopolitics of modern governmentality, where public administration becomes government of life and of individual human beings dominated through the rationalities of governmentality that are determined by biopolitics. According to the point of view of the biopolitics of the neoliberal state, the ethics of administration would not be something different from, but rather a new integrated technology in the rationality of governmentality of the modern state. Foucault gives us the instrument to understand the neoliberal approach to state rationality. The increased power in the modern state implies new public governance as expression of a new technology of governance, at the individual and collective level with personal and social technologies of governance.

In this perspective of the biopolitics of governmentality, ethics of administration based on respect for human rights and recognition of human beings is nothing but a new form of governance technology corresponding to changed conditions of governance in the global society.[20] Recognition of poor people in international politics is a considered as a kind of subjectivities and as a part of the modality of the global power of the states. The constitution of human beings through the ethical struggle for recognition contributes, for example, in the discourse of international migration to constitute workers as human capital and subjects of biopolitics rather than contributing to their recognition of citizens as autonomous citizens. Accordingly, in this perspective, the neoliberal state uses the subjectivation of responsible citizens through the ethics of administration as a tool to increase its biopolitical power over life. [21] Accordingly, not ethics of administration, but only the liberation of life itself in an escape route from the biopolitical power of the neoliberal state, according to this analysis of the dark side of ethics as bureaucratic administration discipline.

Similarly, in his late work Critique et Clinique Deleuze proposes a Post-scriptum on the society of control that is a follow-up on what Foucault called disciplinary society, where the individual is disciplined in the family, at work in the factory, in the hospital and in the prison as the ultimate model of discipline. However, according to Deleuze, the disciplinary society has faced a crisis in modern society after the Second World War and it has been replaced by control society.

Kafka explains very well the forms of control society in contrast to the disciplinary society. While the disciplinary society sees the individual as a part the mass in mass society, the control society focuses on the individual, where it is the self-control or the self-management of the individual that is essential for the social control. It is indeed a kind of machine activity that characterizes the individual in the society of control.

The control society is realized with the information technologies as modern system of social-technological control. The society of control uses the systems of control and testing to keep the discipline of the individuals and the individual is controlled by quantitative instruments. In order to maintain control society proposes the continuation of testing and education of the employees and members of society.[22]

Recent events of the domestic spying programs in the US unveiled by Edward Snowden make us wonder whether this idea of control society isn’t more relevant than Honneth’s idea of institutionalization of democracy. And it also raises the question whether whistle-blowing regardless of consequences is a duty of a public official.  

With their critical views on the governmentality of biopolitics and and the intensification of control society, Foucault and Deleuze formulate important challenges to the development of administration ethics in the contemporary political order. The issue is how an ethics of administration can avoid being captured by the technology and rationality of domination and control of life. To this we can reply that it is important to be aware of the dangers of the use of ethics of administration as a technology of control. No administration ethics is possible without analysis of the negative consequences of biopower and technological rationality. However, not to formulate an ethics of administration may indeed leave us even more vulnerable to the domination by the technologies of governmentality, control and discipline.



5. Urgent Issues for administration ethics

Overall ethics of administration is about what kind of values that we need in the public sector. General themes in this context are transparency and freedom of expression in the public sector. Moreover, we can mention the tension between ethics and law in relation to responsibility of public officials and norms for good governance in public administration as well as the relation between public and private responsibilities. When we formulate a theory of ethics of administration it is necessary to go beyond a dominant approach in social sciences that only looks at the institutional and organizational dimensions of administration from a descriptive analytical point of view. As suggested, the focus of concrete public administration ethics is rather the democratic responsibility of the administrator (including rights and potentialities of whistle-blowing) and the role of values in public administration both locally and globally. Accordingly, in contrast to new public management, we can argue that the administrator functions as the guardian of democracy in the tension between the administration and its environment.

On the basis of this theoretical framework of the tension between ideals of democracy and political freedom facing biopower and control society as well as with the values of sustainability and cosmopolitanism as broader values guiding decision-making in administrative ethics, we have formulated a basis for dealing with concrete issues of administration ethics. Accordingly, in this final section, I will now mention some issues or topics that are important to address in a concrete ethics of administration.

a) Moral blindness and administrative evil in public bureaucracies. Here, we follow the cold expression of “objective, instrumental rationality” of disciplinary society and instrumental power relations of governmentality and biopower. This kind of analysis looks at the negative phenomena of administration, as suggested by the analysis of the banality of evil (Hannah Arendt), obedience under authority (Milgram), technological rationality in administrative systems (Bauman), The Lucifer effect of role playing in social systems (Zimbardo).[23]

b) From Bureaucracy to ethical stakeholder governance.  Here, the issue is the problem of how to develop the public organization or institution into an organization with social responsibility for its economic and social environment. We deal with the problem of moving from being a remote bureaucratic system to being a flexible service organization with focus on the citizens. The problem is how responsibility is realized in practice based on responsibility for realizing the vision for contribution to the common good of a particular public organization.

c) Stakeholder governance as general strategy for the public sector. Instead of new public management that is overwhelmingly based on economic efficiency and instrumental goal-rationality, stakeholder management is supposed to be more informal and democratic. Important issues for a vision of stakeholder oriented ethics for the public sector is to ask questions like: What do we do to serve the citizens? Where are we? Where are we going? What should be done? How to organize it? How are vision and values integrated into public management? And finally: What is our money situation?

d) The tension between normative ethics and institutional analysis. Here, it is important to relate ethical analysis and philosophy to the insights of the social sciences. Institutional theory gives potentialities of analysis of public administration from the systemic and organizational perspective. Moreover, institutional theory provides the basis for looking at public administration as an open system in search of legitimacy and legitimation of the administrative system through its creation of trust and confidence with proper ethical behavior.

e) Tension between new public management and ethical responsibility. Here, we face the confrontation between the ideals of economic efficiency of new public management confronted with the classical virtues of professional integrity in public administration. Sometimes, it seems like these virtues have been forgotten in favor of the economic efficiency of the administrative procedures. In this context, we can provocatively ask whether the problem is that public administration has been so occupied with new public management that it has lost so much ethics and responsibility that it would have to be inspired by the practices of corporate social responsibility in the private sector.

f) Professional ethics in public administration. Here, it is important to look at the guidelines and codes of ethics that have been formulated for the administrative profession and contribute with input for these guidelines. We can mention issues concerning ethical principles for the profession (e.g. autonomy, dignity, integrity, vulnerability); The discourse of recognition and the responsibility for the citizen (Recognition as a citizen); The ethical integrity of the administrator – individuality and organizationally; Requirements for professional ethics in administration – authenticity, autonomy; Particular dilemma of public administration ethics for example discrimination, gender, affirmative action.

g) Ethics at different levels of the organization and institutions: Here we can analyze the differences of the problem of the ethics of administration as they emerge in the state, the central administration, but also in the regions, municipalities and local government. Moreover, we can mention the international developments of guidelines and codex for public administration, for example OECD guidelines for good governance of public administrations and UN guidelines for sustainability, human rights and against bribery and anti-corruption guidelines.

h) Personal responsibility, self-management and ethics. In this context, we can mention dilemmas of personal responsibility and self management in public administration, for example real personal existential dilemmas, including problems work-life balance and integrity with regard to bribery and whistle-blowing.

j) Dimensions of practical wisdom and reflective judgment. At this level we need to develop an ethical  decision-making model for public administrators – including: 1. Problem and dilemma analysis in relation to a specific case problematic; 2. Application of thical theory; 3. Application of ethical principles; 4. Analysis from the point of view of ethical guidelines of professional ethics; 5. Decision-making, evaluation and follow-up. In this context it is important to be aware of recognition of polycentricity of decision-making. Accordingly, it should be possible to give the public administrator the ability to act as a responsible world citizen caring for sustainability and human rights with reflective judgment.



[1] Ronald Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously, Duckworth, New York 1977, Ronald Dworkin: Law’s Empire, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1986.

[2] Michel Foucault: Naissance de la biopolitique, Cours au collège de France, Gallimard, Paris 2004.

[3] Ove Kaj Pedersen: Konkurrencestaten, Hans Reitzels forlag, København 2011.

[4] Hans Jørgen Nielsen: Den Store Omstilling, Informations forlag, København 2013.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Alain Etchegoyen: Le corrupteur et le corrumpu, Gallimard, Paris 1995, p. 17.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Jacob Dahl Rendtorff: Responsibility, Ethics and Legitimacy of Corporations, Copenhagen Business School Press, Copenhagen 2009.

[12] Torben Beck Jørgensen, red: På sporet af en offentlig identitet. Værdier i stat, amter og kommuner. Magtudredningen. Århus Universitetsforlag, 2003.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Marianne Antonsen og Torben Beck Jørgensen (1998): ”Offentlig etos og offentlige organisationer”, Nordisk administrativt tidsskrift, 79, 2: 178-201.

[15] Peter Kemp: A Citizen of the World, New York 2010.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid. Paul Ricoeur: Soi-même comme un Autre, Paris Le Seuil 1992.

[19] Axel Honneth: Das Recht der Freiheit, Suhkamp Verlag, Frankfurt 2011.

[20] Michel Foucault: Naissance de la biopolitique, Cours au collège de France, Gallimard, Paris 2004.

[21] Lecture by Pheng Cheah : “The biopolitics of Recognition”, IAPL Conference, Singapore June 2013.

[22] Deleuze, “Post-scriptum sur les sociétés de contrôle”, in L ‘autre journal, n°1, mai 1990, reprinted in Clinique et Critique, Minuit Paris, 1993.

[23] Guy B. Adams & Danny L. Balfour: Unmasking Administrative Evil, SAGE Publications, 1998

About Jacob Dahl Rendtorff

Jacob Dahl Rendtorff (born 1965) is Associate Professor of Business Ethics at Roskilde University, Denmark. Rendtorff is Head of Studies and Head of Research for the research group on business, leadership and change of his department. Rendtorff has a background in ethics, business ethics, bioethics, political theory and philosophy of law. Rendtorff has written seven books on issues concerning existentialism and hermeneutics, French philosophy, ethics, bioethics and business ethics, philosophy of law and business, and he has been co-author and editor on more than ten other books. Rendtorff has written articles on business, business ethics and philosophy in Danish, English, German and French. Rendtorff is currently a member of the board of the Danish Philosophical Forum and he is vice president of the Danish Association for Philosophy in French Language. He is also a member of the international group on reflexion about ethics, Eco-ethica, founded by Professor Imamichi Tomonobu. In the summer 2008 Rendtorff was elected as member of the steering committee of FISP (Féderation international des societies de philosophie), the global organisation of philosophy that is responsible for the organization of the world congress of philosophy.