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Globethics.net Newsletter No 8 - May 2008

  

1. Worldwide contributions from our participants
   
1.1 Articles from Kenya, Germany, India, Belgium, Uganda
   
1.2 New publications
   
1.3 Robin Cosgrove Prize for Ethics in Finance
   
1.4 News from Lesotho
   
1.5 News from Kerala, India
2. Food Ethics: call for contributions
3. News from the GE International Secretariat in Geneva
4. Short ideas for better usage of the GE website and solving technical problems


1. Worldwide contributions from our participants
1.1 Articles from Germany, India, KenyaUganda to be found on our website


KENYA: Post election violence
Politics and Ethics: Some Causes of the Post election Violence in
Kenya
by
Prof. Eunice Karanja Kamaara
Prof. Eunice Karanja Kamaara who is a Globethics.net participant from Eldoret in
Kenya writes firsthand about the post election violence which has been taking place in her country and especially in her own town Eldoret. By describing different causes of these tragic events and specially by giving a definition of terms commonly used when Kenya is mentioned the author gives a better understanding of the role of politics and ethics in this East-African country.

KENYA: African Philosophy
African Philosophy as Expressed in the Concepts of Hospitality and Ubuntu
by
Dr. Julius Gathogo
African Philosophy is expressed in virtually all the entire life of an African life. Ubuntu is one of the concepts that express it well, despite some of its shortcomings. The paper sets out to show that the concept of Ubuntu (personhood or humanness), which is not only an aspect of African hospitality, but more importantly an expression of African Philosophy, is relevant in the reconstruction of post-colonial Africa.

GERMANY: Employment policies and churches

Employment policies - Challenges for the Churches from the Values Perspective of the Christian Churches in Europe
by
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wegner
On 27-29 February 2008, the Church and Society Commission of CEC together with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and the European Contact Group (ECG) held a Consultation on “Employment and the Churches in Europe”. The Consultation included a Dialogue Seminar with the European Commission on “Flexicurity from a Values Perspective”, which was co-organised with COMECE and the Bureau of European Policy Advisors. 
Recognising that globalisation, demographic, technological and labour market developments are challenging Europeans to reflect on a more flexible labour market and measures for increased protection of the social rights of employees, the Dialogue Seminar concluded that while recognising the achievement of common principles on flexicurity there is a still a long way to go in order to translate commonly shared values into concerted policies. The dignity of the human being and protection of the most vulnerable in the labour market must be the starting point of the implementation measures. This article  is a document resulting from the Consultation.

GERMANY: Europe's social reality
"A more resilient Europe" A position paper of the
Sozialwissenschaflitche Institut - Social Sciences Institute - of the EKD in response to the Consultation Paper from the Bureau of European Policy Advisers: Europe's social reality by Roger Liddle and Fréderic Lerais
The European Commission is launching a public consultation on the "social reality" of
Europe today. The Bureau of European Policy Advisors of the European Commission has published a background document to animate and support this public consultation. In response to this the Social Science Institute of the EvangelicalChurch in Germany has written a position paper. It brings in a Christian standpoint to the question of how to create a more social, equal Europe with happier and fulfilled citizens.

INDIA: Fundamentalism and Ethics
Religious Fundamentalism: Response from Gender Hegemonic Oppression
by
Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi

What is Gender Hegemonic Oppression and what are its manifestations? This article deals with this burning question and describes the various forms of power used to control. It also shows the role that religious fundamentalists play in this gender oppression. 

BELGIUM: Business Ethics in the Russian Orthodox Church (in French)
L'éthique économique de l'église orthodoxe russe dans le monde des affaires du troisième millénaire: plaidoyer pour la recherche en éthique appliquée
de
Corneille Ntamwenge
Pour entrer dans le XXIe siècle, l’Eglise orthodoxe russe a décidé après réflexion concertée d’opérer un changement historique dans sa prédication et sa visibilité : « être présente à son temps » (Marie-Dominique Chenu). Pour ce faire, elle a conçu, rédigé et publié les données fondamentales de son enseignement social : « Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church », en sigle BSCROC. Certains analystes voient en ce document le passage difficile de la présence au temple à la présence au monde. En d’autres mots, l’Eglise orthodoxe russe a profité des changements socio-politiques en Russie et dans le monde entier pour découvrir le chemin de l’engagement social, elle veut maintenant devenir sel et lumière de la Russie du troisième millénaire.


UGANDA: Ethics, Human Rights and Legal education
Ethics, Basic human rights and Legal education a source of social justice for disadvantaged people
by
Richard Kibirige
This contribution of the student Kibirige treats the importance in legal education of the poor and disadvantaged in order to empower them and strengthen society.

NIGERIA: Research in Ethics of wages
Globethics.net participant
Dr. Chukwugozie  Maduka is working on the ethics of wages. The thrust of the research is to discover why private school proprietors, professionals employing other professionals, other private sector employers pay ridiculously low  wages in Nigeria. According to the author, most of these employers lavish money coming from such enterprises buying luxurious cars, building mansions and increasing their harems. His question then is: do such employers have the moral right to demand for total commitment from such under-employed workers? It is expected that this quasi-empirical research will be concluded in June 2008.

 

1.2 New Publications
Most of them are written by Globethics-.net participants

 
Njino, Joseph, (2008): A guide to ethics, Eldoret: Zapf Chancery.

Meinhold, Roman, (2007): "Black and White. On Symbolical Implications of an Aesthetical Polarization", in: Boleswa Journal of Philosophy, Theology and Religion. Vol.1, No.3. (December 2007), 155-166. ISSN 1817-2741
This paper attempts to show that the aesthetic opposition of black and white as aesthetic perceptible "colours" applied to the description of the density of human skin pigment does not reflect aesthetic reality.

Itty, John M,(2007): Illusion About Economic Growth, Mavelikara: Vichara School of People's Economics.
A small booklet with illustrations exposing the hidden things in the calculation of Gross Domestic Product and  exposing the fallacy of attributing much importance to the rate of economic growth.

Itty, John M, (2007): Socio-Economic Impact of Chikungunyia in Kerala in 2007. A study report by Vichara School of People's Economics, Mavelikara:Vichara
The viral disease ‘Chikungunya’ that hit around 8,00,000 people in Kerala during the months of June, July and August 2007 exploded the commonly held belief  in the invulnerability of the Kerala society to such epidemics and questioned the internationally recognised , enviably high health status of this state. The infection caused through aedes mosquitoes that affected 84% of the sample households and 46% of the sample population was found uniform across different socio-economic, educational, gender and occupational groups. Change in the attitude of people who consider health as an individual affair that can be secured with money power under the influence of neoliberal values and the demise of  Public Action to promote healthy sanitary surroundings are the reasons behind the spread of this disease.


Green, Ronald M./Donovan, Aine/Jauss Steven A. (estimated publishing date November 2008): Global Bioethics, Issues of Conscience for the Twenty-First Century, Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press.
Medical care and biomedical research are rapidly becoming global. Ethical questions that once arose only in the narrow context of the physician-patient relationship in relatively prosperous societies are now being raised across societies, cultures, and continents. Global Bioethics gathers some of the world's leading bioethicists to explore many of the new questions raised by the globalization of medical care and biomedical research. Among the topics covered are the impact of globalization on the norms of medical ethics, the conduct of international research, the ethics of international collaborations, challenges to medical professionalism in the international setting, and the relation of religion to global bioethics. The information on this publication was sent in by GE participant and former GE coordinator
Jean-Daniel Strub.



 
1.3 Robin Cosgrove Prize for Ethics in Finance
The Robin Cosgrove Prize for Ethics in Finance will be launched in its second edition on 12 June 2008. The Prize invites young finance professionals to write a paper on the theme “Innovative Ideas for Ethics in Finance”. The Prize of USD 20,000 will be awarded in Fall 2009. See
www.robincosgroveprize.org
Robust ethical standards are critical. Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do may seem simple, but in complex financial transactions, all too often considerations of ethics and integrity may be squeezed.
The Robin Cosgrove Prize invites young finance professionals to compete, submitting their ideas for innovative ways to promote ethics in finance. The Prize is a medium for publicising innovation to stimulate ethics and integrity.
By encouraging professionals in the finance and related industries to examine their own attitudes and behaviour, the Robin Cosgrove Prize enables sustainable ways for encouraging higher standards and rewards the best candidates who submit the most convincing ideas for innovative solutions to promote ethics in finance.
The Prize reflects Robin’s belief that the sustainable future of the international finance sector depended on creating strong ethical awareness and commitment to integrity among all staff, reinforcing greater confidence amongst stakeholders- investors, shareholders, customers, regulators – and creating dynamic corporate cultures based on honesty, mutual respect, and the added value of a clear commitment to ethics in finance.
Robin was, and continues to be, an inspiration to young people. He died in a hiking accident in 2004 aged 31. The competitors for the Robin Cosgrove Prize are role models and mentors for their peers. The prize winners are champions of ethics in their organizations and can encourage ethical networks both within and beyond their immediate professional contexts. The Robin Cosgrove Prize is a potential incubator for innovative projects for ethics in finance.


1.4 News from Lesotho sent in by GE participant Dr. Roman Meinhold
The Department of Philosophy at the National University of Lesotho will launch a new BA Program in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics in August 2008 which offers very up to date courses such as: Philosophy/Ethics of Tourism and Leisure, Philosophy/Ethics of HIV and Aids, Philosophy/Ethics of Death, Philosophy/Ethic of Violence and Conflict and many other practical philosophy and ethics courses which address the needs of the region and focus very recent controversial issues.

End of May Dr. Roman Meinhold, currently visiting Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Lesotho, will be taking up a new function at the Assumption University of Thailand Graduate School of Philosophy and Religion. We wish him good luck for this new challenge!


1.5 News from Kerala, India sent in by GE participant Prof. John M Itty
National Seminar on Globalization: Life and Livelihood Issues  February 28, 29 and March 1 and 2, 2008 at Kottayam, Kerala
India.
The main thrust was economic and ethical issues due to the neglect of life and livelihood issues by the ongoing process of globalization.


2. Food Ethics: call for contributions
The current Food Crisis raises many ethical questions about Food Security and Food Supply. Read Christoph Stückelberger's article on this topic:
Food Crisis: The Right to Food is the Primary Human Right. Globethics.net would like to collect contributions from GE participants or from their regions to put as a dossier on the Globethics.net website!
Please send your texts/papers to
admin_ge@globethics.net.


3. News from the GE International Secretariat in Geneva
Globethics.net staff is working hard to prepare for the launch of the Globethics.net Global digital library on ethics in summer 2008. The next newsletter will be a special mailing to all of you, to be sent in June.

Globethics.net staff is also preparing five working groups for the International Conference on interreligious ethics in Nairobi January 2009.

The International Secretariat of Globethics.net now has an intern who will assist in various projects until September 2008. We warmly welcome Line Droël into the team!


4. Short ideas for better usage of the GE website and solving technical problems


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