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Morality and public policy$
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Clem Henricson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447323815

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447323815.001.0001

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The challenges and benefits of a new role for public policy

The challenges and benefits of a new role for public policy

(p.73) Four The challenges and benefits of a new role for public policy
Morality and public policy

Clem Henricson

Policy Press

Chapter 4, The Challenges and Benefits of a New Role for Public Policy explores the implications of this approach. The proposal to establish formal consideration and debate of morality as a public policy function in conjunction with a recognition that morality is about the accommodation of a wide spectrum of impulses rather than offering a trajectory of progress is examined in terms of the challenges and benefits to public policy. Prominent amongst the challenges is the tenacity of the concept of progress despite philosophical thinking having jettisoned concepts of enlightenment and progressive liberalism in the wake of societal and human conduct in the 19th and 20th centuries. There is consideration of the administrative habit of ‘progress speak’ and its associated dangers. Addressing the challenge, an historical assessment is made of the capacity of society to take on board a new perspective of accommodation in place of progress. The challenge of relativism and a role for protective human rights is similarly explored. The benefits envisaged include transparency, the delivery of timely and responsive public policy and enhanced preventative assessment and intervention; examples are considered across finance, caring institutions, adult relations and child protection.

Keywords:   challenges, benefits, accommodation of impulses, progress, relativism, human rights, transparency, preventative assessment, intervention, responsive public policy

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