POL5712 - Ethics and Public Policy: East and West

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Public Policy
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
Course Offering Term*:
Not offering in current academic year

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

This course aims to develop students’ critical and analytical thinking skills for making normative judgment about major moral controversies in contemporary public policy.  It discusses the three major approaches to ethics (consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics) and their practical relevance to forming and evaluating various public policies. It also teaches students the basic concepts of social and political philosophy, including benevolent government, ethics of care, legalism, harmony, rights, virtue, liberty, democracy, justice, political obligation and civil disobedience, gender, and community, and how to employ them in the ethical analysis of public policy. A comparative perspective is adopted in the examination of the above approaches and concepts and their applications. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to develop their own theoretical framework to analyse public policy issues from an ethical perspective by drawing on the cultural resources in Eastern and Western traditions.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Participation in Seminar: 10%
1st Group Presentation: 15%
1st Essay: 25%
2nd Group Presentation: 20%
2nd Essay: 30%
Detailed Course Information


Useful Links

Department of Public Policy