Presentation and PowerPoint - Ole Doering

Presentation and PowerPoint - Ole Doering


Engaging Multiple Layers of Civil Society towards Effective Ethical Governance: Reflections on the Case of China

How can ethical governance be organised in cases of absence of effective national policies and a robust culture of law? How can we work towards a robust culture of ethics conscience emancipated from political agendas or structural barriers such as legalistic or formal organization control?

This is a challenge for best practice within countries, as cases of "genetic discrimination“ and "sex-selective abortion“ can exemplify and a growing problem in inter- or transnational affairs, which can be illustrated through examples of therapeutic, reproductive or organ "tourism“. In their current state, national and trans-border authorities are failing to protect the rights of those who are most vulnerable, and leave it, in effect, to unrestrained power to create mechanisms and rationales of good order. In a country such as China, there is, notwithstanding significant progress, neither the administrative infrastructure, nor a system of checks & balances and incentives to ensure responsible oversight and management of trouble.

In globalised ethics, procedural approaches have been accepted as more appropriate than statutory principles. Moreover, international conventions require respect towards the contextual situation within which good practices can be expected to flourish and demand capability building. In order to respond to pluralism in national and global societies, it is suggested to focus on those middle-level actors who could cooperate in ethical governance and their role in society, and aim to co-opt them as responsible co-actors in governance.

It is also crucial, as implied in the plurality of cultures and forms of society, to improve our ability to communicate and translate meaning and understanding across languages, disciplines and cultural borders, which will, eventually, bring about cooperation between those who can actually address problems.

With reference to ongoing research in China, this presentation will offer an approach towards the advancement of effective ethical governance that relies upon systemic participation and orchestrated engagement of key professional and civil groups in societies, and implements a strategy of subsidiarity as the condition for successful policy development and implementation.

It was argued that such a strategy can be grounded on prudential pragmatic consideration, acceptable beyond specific patterns of western democratic cultures. Such an approach can in effect encourage and strengthen the substance of democratic, just and solidaric culture, and remind Western views of the origin and purpose of humanistic ideas. Ultimately, it may be promising in order to counter the cultures of utilitarianism, libertarianism and de-humanisation that have taken over large areas of bio-policy-making, the framing of bio-societies and even bioethics.