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Spotlight on Public Ethics

25 January 2024

Dr Christine Hobden from the Wits School of Governance hosted a workshop on Public Ethics in the context of the findings of the Zondo Commission on 15 and 16 January 2024.

The workshop was funded and hosted by the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study, as a part of Hobden’s Iso Lomso Fellowship.

Hobden convened a small group of academics and practitioners and offered space to reflect deeply on our understanding of, and response to, state capture through the lenses of research, teaching, and practice.

Ethics workshop

Image credit: Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study

The aim of the workshop was twofold: Contribute towards building interdisciplinary networks, connections, and communities of practice to more effectively respond to the current crisis of public ethics. The second goal was to use this research basis to better support and inform teaching and learning in this critical area of applied ethics.

Reflections illustrated that it is essential to identify and explore the impact of a societal context of deep inequality and the related distrust in and within the public service.

Beyond valuable interventions on institutional design and governance structures, discussions surfaced the deep importance of narratives, of humanising, of creating inter-personal and institutional trust, and the complexity of the courage to which we are called in the pursuit of an ethical public sphere.

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