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Invitation to an International Conference

Ethics and Public Administration as Public Service



Guangxi University
Nanning, P.R. China

July 16-17, 2008




Over the last 20 years the emergence of China as a great nation has required a progressive deepening in the understanding of how is ancient culture could unite and enliven a modern people in the global context. Throughout this process The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP) has played a catalytic role through annual colloquia. These began from the more generic issue of modernization and then progressively engaged the issue of humanizing the new technology, an ethics for the new economy, the notion of a civil society, and the role of Chinese culture in the development of urban life and in guiding its international relations. Together these have generated some 28 volumes of focused studies (www.crvp.org).


With this infrastructure in place China now faces issues of the quality of life and perhaps especially how these structures will engage the citizens and promote their participation. This is veritably a renegotiation of the social contract. Concretely, this takes place in public administration as it engages and serves the public's need and aspirations. This is a matter not only of technical competencies, but also of the ethical purpose and guiding the creativity of the public administrator.


This project is essentially an effort by Chinese specialists to enrich the road ahead through a public administration that increasingly enlivens and engages the interests, aspirations and capabilities of the people. In this a few specialists from overseas are needed to serve in a catalytic role opening new horizons and suggesting additional resources.


This July the project will take another step through two conferences on the ethics of public administration as public service. They will be held at the School of Public Administration of Quangxi University in Nanning (July 16-18) in the south and the School of Philosophy and Public Administration of Helongjiang University in Harbin (July 21-22) in the north. (The host will provide room and board during the meetings.)


The particular emphasis will be on the ethics of public administration with special attention to the ethics of citizen participation and to the related ethics training of civil servants.


The overall theme is “The Role of Government and Citizen in the Promotion of the Common Good.” The particular concern is the ethics of development of the role of civil society and citizen participation in the service of the public. 


Day 1

AM  The role of the government in classical and contemporary administrative theory

PM   The role of the citizen in classical and contemporary practice


Day 2

AM  Strategies for enabling citizen participation: values, virtues, culture, communitarian contribution

PM  The corresponding ethical component of the MA-PA program





Xie Shun

School of Public Administration

Guangxi University

Nanning, Guangxi Province

P.R. China











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