Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Ethical Principles of Citizenship

Posted Feb 10, 2013 by Marvin Brown in The Civic, No Comments

I have agreed to develop a course for Saybrook University in San Francisco on the ethics of social transformation from a global citizen perspective.  So I have been exploring the ethical principles of citizenship, which is more complex than one might think.  In any case, the following chart reflects my current thinking.

The Ethical Principles of Citizenship


 Dimensions of Citizenship

 Ethical Principle

A Common Citizen

Recognizes our common humanity as the foundation for the civic realm where we deal with our social differences



A Participating Citizen

Participates in conversations about how we should live together, and engages in concrete actions


 Moral equality



 A Represented Citizen

Pressures the rulers of nation-states to be responsive to all citizens through voting, politics, petitions, and protests.



 A Private Citizen

Obeys civic obligations in the stewardship of private goods



 A Public Citizen

Obeys civic obligations in the stewardship of public goods.



A Global Citizen

Enters into conversations (listening, questioning, learning, proposing) with all the people on our fragile planet.




Human Rights


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Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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