ERIC Number: ED258914
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: N/A
The Ethics of Legislative Life. A Report by the Hastings Center.
Hastings Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.
Results of a two-year research project (1982-84) on Legislative and Representative Ethics are presented in this report, which analyzes the basic principles of legislative ethics, discusses the special dilemmas and obligations of legislators, and offers conclusions about future steps that could be taken to enhance public discussion and to reinforce the incentives leading to ethical conduct. Following an executive summary, the first of five sections deals with the importance of legislative ethics, with subsections on legislative authority and the public trust, an increasing lack of public confidence in elected representatives, movement toward a more comprehensive and constructive dialogue in legislative ethics, ethics and politics, and new perspectives and aims. The second section,"The Ethical Challenge of Legislative Service," discusses legislatures and legislators in a democratic society, traditional norms of legislative ethics, the rise of the entrepreneurial legislator, and the limits of recent ethics reform. The practice of representation, principles of legislative ethics, and ethical dilemmas are treated in section III. Section IV, "Legislatures and Legislative Ethics," examines the moral ecology of legislatures and legislative ethics codes and enforcement. The final section outlines future steps that could be taken to enhance autonomy, accountability, and responsibility and suggests that the need for enhanced public understanding of legislative ethics is one component of the more general problem of responsible citizenship and "democratic literacy." (LH)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Codes of Ethics, Credibility, Ethics, Futures (of Society), Legislators, Political Attitudes, Public Officials, Public Opinion, Social Attitudes, Social Responsibility
The Hastings Center, 360 Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 ($7.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hastings Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.