Top 10 Resources for 2011-12 Program Year

August 10, 2012

Top Ten, Program Year 2011-2012

Resources focusing on moral issues, particularly justice, featured prominently in our global audience's favorites this last program year (September 2011-June 2012).

Topics include unethical economic policies, tyrannical leaders, and mitigating poverty. Another theme is America's future: Are the nation's best days already behind it? Join the conversation by posting comments!

In addition to, we hope you'll check out Carnegie Council's other websites: our journal, Ethics & International Affairs; our online magazine, Policy Innovations; and our social network, Global Ethics Network

1) Ethics Matter: A Conversation with Peter Singer
Peter Singer, Princeton University; University of Melbourne
Utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer lives up to his beliefs, giving away 25-30 percent of his income to alleviate absolute poverty, and defending animal rights—or as he puts it, "extending equality beyond the species boundary." Here are his thoughts on these topics and more.
(Ethics Matter, October 2011, transcript, audio, video, TV show)

2) Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street
Tomas Sedlacek, CSOB [one of the largest Czech banks]; former adviser to Vlacek Havel
Why pretend that economics is value free? It's a product of our civilization and riddled with moral judgements, says Sedlacek. By separating economics from ethics we have created a zombie, a monster without a soul. The two have to be put back together.
(Public Affairs, October 2011, transcript, audio, video, TV show)

3) Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis
James Rickards, Omnis, Inc.
We are already in Currency War III, says Rickards, who sees four possible outcomes—none of them good—that he calls "the four horsemen of the dollar apocalypse." Here's a tip: keep your eye on gold.
(Public Affairs, January 2012, transcript, audio, video, TV show)

4) Two Faces of Apple
S. Prakash Sethi, City University of New York; International Center for Corporate Accountability
On the customer side, Apple is one of the world's most innovative and successful companies. But when it comes to working conditions at its plants in China, its record is marred by significant violations. Will new CEO Tim Cook work to set a new standard for tech industry workers in Asia?
(Carnegie Ethics Online, April 2012, article)

5) Justice for Hedgehogs
Ronald Dworkin, New York University; University College London
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Ronald Dworkin argues for one big thing: the unity of value. He asserts that value is what makes sense of how we act as individuals, how we relate to others, and how we construct our lives.
(Public Affairs, December 2011, transcript, audio, video)

6) Ethics Matter: A Conversation with Thomas Pogge
Thomas Pogge, Yale University; University of Oslo; University of Central Lancaster, UK
In this fascinating conversation, Thomas Pogge explains how growing up in post-war Germany awakened him to injustice. He lays out his plan for reforming the pharmaceutical industry, and much more.
(Ethics Matter, January 2012, transcript, audio, video, TV show)

7) That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back
Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
Michael Mandelbaum, Johns Hopkins University
What can America do as it faces four major challenges—globalization, the revolution in information technology, chronic deficits, and its energy consumption?
(Public Affairs, September 2011, transcript, audio, video)

8) Blind to Reality: Invisible Children and the LRA
Steven Costello, London-based analyst and writer, former aid worker in Africa
The Kony 2012 documentary is over a decade too late, says Steven Costello. Promoting a "save the children" storyline (complete with a "Kony awareness" bracelet for just $30) to whip up less-than-nuanced public awareness is not only unhelpful; it is dangerous.
(Carnegie Council article, March 2012)

9) The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, New York University; Hoover Institution
Alastair Smith, New York University
Cynics or realists? Just follow five rules and you can be a successful dictator, say Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith—at least until old age or sickness catch up with you. They go on to argue that these precepts apply to all systems of governance, including U.S. democracy.
(Public Affairs, December 2011, transcript, audio, video)

10) America in the 21st Century: A View from Europe
Martin Wolf, Financial Times
It's likely that the U.S. will cease to be the world's largest economic power by not later than the 2020s, predicts Martin Wolf. However—depending on its policy choices—it will probably remain a center of world innovation in research, technology, and business.
(Public Affairs, May 2012, transcript, audio, video, TV show)