Allow Offensive Speech --- Curb Abusive Speech?

Free speech can be limited. The Founding Fathers did not give it the high standing many liberals accord it.

The Pound of Flesh, a Communitarian Principle

(Starting on Page 423) When deliberating culturally sensitive topics, both sides often feel that they are concerned with absolutes and that the other side has neither moral nor legal foot to stand

Bringing Back the Moral Wrestler: Author Meets Critics at APPE 2019

By: Dr. Daniel E. Wueste
Professor of Philosophy

The Importance of a Personal Sense of Insecurity

To state that a given field of study has been neglected and deserves much more attention is a common argument.

The Story of Hanukkah Has Become Politicized

Many Jews are celebrating Hanukkah this week, but in rather different ways. Some are lighting candles all eight nights and reciting prayers—heads covered with kippahs.

We Are What We Celebrate

The different ways we spend our holidays tells volumes about our personal lives, our communities, and even our nation.

Happiness is the Wrong Metric

People are motivated not only by a quest for satisfaction but also by trying to live up to their sense of what is moral.

The Limits of Transparency

Transparency is viewed as a self-evident good in Western society.

Transforming the Active Orientation

Technology should help cultivate social and moral progress, rather than endless growth and consumerism.

Self-determination: The Democratization Test

Self-determination is the process by which people, who are governed by a foreign power, gain self-government. Often the people first form a sense of community—a sense of a shared identity, destiny, and core values—and then seek to invest those in a state, forming a nation (defined as a community invested in a state). The term self-determination is also used to refer to the normative principle that is evoked to justify breaking away from the old regime to form a new one.

The Moral Effects of Economic Teaching

Over the past 2 decades, dozens of studies have explored the relationship between exposure to economics and antisocial behavior.

Communitarianism Revisited

This article provides a retrospective account and analysis of communitarianism. Drawing upon the author’s involvement with the political branch of communitarianism, it attempts to summarize both the history of the school of thought as well as its most prominent ideas. These include the communitarian emphasis on the common good; the effort to find an acceptable balance between individual rights and social responsibilities; the basis of social order; and the need to engage in substantive moral dialogues. The article closes with a discussion of cultural relativism according to which communities ought to be the ultimate arbitrators of the good and a universalistic position. 

Treating Rationality as a Continuous Variable

Behavioral Economics has demonstrated that “people” (implying all) are unable to act as strong definitions of rationality assume. Their cognitive limitations are “hard wired”. However Behavioral Economics’ own data show that important segments of the population find “the” rational answer to choices posed to them. How do these findings square with the thesis that limitations are hard wired and universal? And, more attention should be paid to the extent to which various people deviate from the rational choice, and—whether training can improve performance despite the claim that flaws are hard wired.

Limits of Privacy

“Limits of Privacy.” Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics Blackwell (2005) pp. 253-262.

When Rights Collide

“When Rights Collide,” in Rise Axelrod and Charles Cooper, (Eds.) Reading Critically, Writing Well, (Second ed.), New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

Compliance, Goals, and Effectiveness

“Compliance, Goals, and Effectiveness,” in Jay M. Shafritz and J. Steven Ott, (Eds.) Classics of Organization Theory, (2nd ed.), Chicago: The Dorsey Press, (1987), pp. 177-187.

Sozialpsychologieche Aspekte Internationaler Beziehungen

“Sozialpsychologieche Aspekte Internationaler Beziehungen,” in Die Psychologie Des 20 Jahrhunderts (Zurich: Kinler Verlag, 1979), pp. 601-618.

Planning–An Historical and Intellectual Perspective

“Planning–An Historical and Intellectual Perspective,” in Robert W.

Toward a Critical and Objective Sociology

“Toward a Critical and Objective Sociology,” et al, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer, 1968), p. 11.

Non-Conventional Uses of Sociology as Illustrated by Peace Research

Sociologists who study disarmament are at a doulde disadvantage: both the contibutions of sociology as a discipline and the investment of the society as a whole in this field are so small that the study of disarmament is a prime “underdeveloped” area.

A Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear

By the first part of 2013, the economic growth rates of China and India were falling sharply; the growth of the United States and Japan were anaemic; the EU was on the edge of a recession. While the Arab Awakening is often considered a call for democratization, most citizens of the nations involved are keen to command a significantly higher standard of living, which may well not be forthcoming.

DNA Tests and Databases in Criminal Justice: Individual Rights and the Common Good

This chapter examines several issues raised by the extensive use of DNA tests and databases in advancing public safety. The examination draws on a communitarian perspective that balances the common good with individual rights rather than presuming that rights routinely trump the common good.

Foreword, Making Accountability Work

Accountability deserves much more attention than it has been getting; the book before us makes a major contribution to highlight its importance. It sounds like a dull subject, something having to do with annual reports and accountants. Actually at the heart of the matter is ensuring that actions are carried out in line with legitimate policies, those set by law, in line with ethical precepts, and properly authorized by legislature or corporate board and executive.

On Communitarian and Global Sources of Legitimacy

Although the concept of legitimacy is widely invoked in social science literature, political disclosure, and common parlance, key empirical and normative questions about legitimacy are often left far from answered, especially "Legitimated by whom?" and "Legitimated by what criteria?"

The Tea Partiers are Half Right

About the kindest labels appended to them are "rednecks," "highly volatile" and "laughable." Young research assistants at George Washington University see them as "psychopaths," "racists," "anti-Semites" and "homophobes" and hold that, in the political arena, "one cannot talk to them; one must defeat them."

Somali Pirates: An Expansive Interpretation of Human Rights

Sometimes a complex issue can be captured in a few very simple words: “Prosecuting suspected pirates detained in international waters has proved difficult.” And according to Douglas Burnett, an expert in maritime law, pirates are treated with a “catch and release philosophy that’s usually reserved for trout.”

Reflections of a Sometime-Public Intellectual

This article draws on Etzioni's book My Bothers' Keeper: A Memoir and a Message 

The Great Entitlement Raid

To bail out the banks, and more generally Wall Street, and as a result of their profiteering, the nation faces a great deficit. It is premature to deal with it, but when the time comes, it should not be closed by scaling back social programs and entitlements. Such a way to deal with the deficit would in effect amount to a two-step major wealth transfer from the most vulnerable Americans to the most endowed. (First the funds were given to Wall Street; next they will be taken from the poor and working-class Americans, to cover the shortfalls). There are other sources for reducing government expenditures for new revenues.

Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

“Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” Hedgehog Review (Spring 2010), pp. 85-89.

The first thing that must be said about Michael Sandel's book, Justice, is that it is a remarkable educational achievement.

A Humanist Science: Values and Ideas in Social Inquiry

“A Humanist Science: Values and Ideas in Social Inquiry,” Law and Society Review 44, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 185-186.

Philip Selznick provides, in A Humanist Science, a remarkable capstone to a long and outstanding lifetime of scholarly work.

The Normativity of Human Rights is Self Evident

Attempts to justify human rights in terms of other sources of normativity unwittingly weaken the case of human rights. Instead these rights should be treated as moral causes that speak to us directly, as one of those rare precepts that are self-evident.

Life: The Most Basic Human Right

Not all rights have been created equal. This essay contends that the right to life—broadly understood as a right to be free from deadly violence, maiming, torture, and starvation—is paramount and argues that the unique standing of the right to life has significant implications for public policy in general, and for foreign policy in particular.

Bottom-Up Nation Building

The tired debate between those who believe in nation-building and those who scoff at it glosses over a major difference between top-down and bottom-up society-building. The starting point for a bottom-up approach is the communitarian recognition that societies — even modern, so-called “mass” societies — are not composed of just millions upon millions of individual citizens.

Behavioral Economics: A Methodological Note

When a theory faces a set of facts that are not compatible with its key assumptions, there are several ways it might respond. In response to the challenge posed by behavioral economics, neoclassical economics has attempted numerous different approaches. After briefly reviewing these responses, this paper turns to argue in favor of one of them.

Samson’s Children

Israel makes me stay up nights. There are too many people who “know” that Iran will not build a bomb (“they said so, repeatedly!”); that if it does build one—Iran is not going to drop it on Tel Aviv (“they are not crazy”); that Iran is merely clamoring for attention (“you know, they have long been ignored and humiliated”).

Is Transparency the Best Disinfectant?

Transparency is a highly regarded value, a precept used for ideological purposes, and a subject of academic study. The following critical analysis attempts to show that transparency is overvalued.

A Crisis of Consumerism

With the economic crisis currently at its peak, the time is ripe for a moral conversation on what defines a good society. Is a society governed by consumerism desirable? Can material objects be used to express affection and to seek self-esteem? How can self-actualization best be realized?

The Capture Theory of Regulations—Revisited

Amidst the rekindled interest in regulating the market that has emerged since the 2008 financial crisis, most attention has been paid to the debate between those who call for more regulation of the private sector in order to protect the public good, and those who claim that such regulations would do further damage to the economy by unduly constraining business.

The Common Good and Rights: A Neo-Communitarian Approach

The moral value of human rights and liberty is so central to scholars, activists, and citizens in the West that they are taken as more or less self-evident truths. This essay shares this assumption. However, it asks: Do human right and liberty provide a sufficient moral foundation for a good society?

Adaptation or Paradigm Shift

Even scholars who have no interest in economics may find the debate about behavioral economics of great interest because it points to a major meta-theoretical, empirical, and normative divide in th

A New Social Movement?

The idea that achieving ever-higher levels of consumption of products and services is a vacuous goal has been with us from the onset of industrialization. These ideas often have taken the form of comparing the attractive life of the much poorer, pre-industrial artisan to that of the more endowed industrial assembly-line worker.

The Communitarian Constitution by Beau Breslin

“The Communitarian Constitution by Beau Breslin,” Perspectives on Political Science 37, No. 1 (Winter 2008), pp. 60-61.

Unfortunately, the failed policies with which The Case for Democracy is associated will likely lead many to avoid this rich, interesting, and well-developed work.

A Global, Community Building Language?

Although long championed, a global language has not come to fruition despite considerable efforts. Many fear that such a language would undermine the particularistic, identity-constituting primary languages of local and national communities.

Denial of Virtue

When Thomas Hobbes was asked why he contributed to a beggar, and was this not due to Christ’s commandment, he responded that he did so “with the sole intent of relieving his own misery at the sight

Citizenship Tests: A Comparative, Communitarian Perspective

At first, it may seem that citizenship tests are just what their title implies: tests that determine whether a person is qualified to become a citizen. Actually, in many nations that require such citizenship tests, the vast majority of the individuals involved are not required to command any qualifications to become a citizen and hence are not tested.

Social Analysis and Social Action

My interest over the last ten years has moved from the study of smaller social units to that of larger ones, from greater concern with conceptualization to an emphasis on the social relevance of social science, and from a fair segregation of the role of the sociologist and the active citizen to a greater effort to articulate the two.

Corporate Crime

The right to bring civil suits against corporations for the damage their activities have caused has long been established in American law. However, the notion that criminal charges can be brought against a corporation is self-evident, for, as the saying goes, "One cannot jail a corporation."

Reconstruction: An Agenda

This essay discusses several issues involving the theory of post-conflict reconstruction, and suggests that the concepts of reconstruction and of economic development be carefully kept apart. It explores the question of what moral and legal obligations to reconstruction the occupiers incur.

Community Deficit

The European Union is suffering not just from a democratic deficit, but a community deficit. The level and scope of its integration activities far exceed the degree of community that it sustains. The article explains why community, particularly normative-affective community, is needed and how it can be built in the EU.

Foreword: Civic Service Analysis Has Come of Age

Local, national, and international civic service is again a hot topic in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq (Dionne, Drogosz, and Litan 2003; Schulman 2002: Wilheml and Williams 2002; Dionne and Drogosz 2003; Galston 2001). Questions are raised about the distribution of the burden of military service among various social groups, the need for a draft, and the need for alternative services.

Good Grief

Soon after my wife died - her car slid off an icy road in 1985 - a school physchologist warned me that my children and I were not mourning in the right way. 

Self-Evident Truth (Beyond Relativism)

Making light of relativism, of the old-fashioned personal variety, or of the "postmodern" cultural, politically correct one, is like shooting fish in a barrel. it has been done often and well, but the barrel is still full, at least in part because no other, more compelling, content has been provided.

A Communitarian Approach: A Viewpoint on the Study of the Legal, Ethical and Policy Considerations Raised by DNA Tests and Databases

This article seeks to outline a viewpoint on the study of the legal, ethical and policy considerations raised by DNA tests and databases (from here on, DNA usages). It does not delve into the specifics involved. It outlines a way of thinking that has proven productive elsewhere and seems promising in dealing with DNA usages in the United States, but little more. Given that this essay is about a communitarian approach that draws on specific communitarian values, I turn next to briefly present the approach here followed.

Communitarianism-The Cambridge Dictionary of Socioloy

“Communitarianism.” The Cambridge Dictionary of Socioloy. ed. Bryan S. Turner (Cambridge University Press 2006) pp. 81-83.

Leaving Race Behind

Some years ago the United States government asked me what my race was.

Religion and the State: Why Moderate Religious Teaching Should Be Promoted

Should the US government and the international community actively promote religion overseas, especially in the Islamic world? Such an approach may seem wrong on all grounds. Religion is a major force driving jihadists in the Middle East, and separation of state and religion is one of the cornerstones of US democracy and the type of regime the United States promotes abroad.

Transnational Moral Dialogues

“Transnational Moral Dialogues.” After Terror, ed. Akbar Ahmed and Brian Forst. (Polity Press, 2005) pp. 79-84.

Bad Lawyering

Those of us who study lawyers actually do know that most of them help resolve conflicts. They help clients to vent their anger-and realize that they do not have a case. They work out differences among contending parties, whether individuals, corporations or nations. In the public eye, though, lawyers are all from television's Boston Legal, fierce advocates of one side or the other, manipulating the evidence and pushing emotional buttons to win the day.

The Unique Methodology of Policy Research

POLICY research requires a profoundly different methodology from that on which basic research relies, because policy research is always dedicated to changing the world while basic research seeks to understand it as it is.' The notion that if one merely understands the world better, then one will in turn know how to better it, is not supported by the evidence.

Jewish, yet I say: 'Celebrate!'

For once the Christian right has come up with a good idea: Let's put Christ back into Christmas!

No State Intrusions

When my mother-in-law could not take it any more (her cancer had turned her leg into one huge sore, and her pain was unbearable), my wife reluctantly called in a physician who was also a family friend. Dr. L. explained that it was against the law for him to help my mother-in-law, who had battled melanoma for 13 months with a quiet dignity, to end her life.

Bookmarks for Public Sociologists

“Bookmarks for Public Sociologists,” The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 56, Issue 3 (Sept. 2005) pp. 373-378

A Communitarian Perspective on Sex and Sexuality

Both religious and liberal secular thinking offer comprehensive approaches to considering the place of the sexual drive in our personal lives and communities. What has communitarian thinking to offer? How does it compare to these other bodies of thought, especially to religious ones?

The Fair Society

We must work together for a fair society: a society in which everyone is treated with full respect, recognizing that we are all God's children. A society in which no one--adult or child--is left behind. A place in which such moral commitments are truly honored rather than served up as hallow promises.

Beyond a Civil Society: a Good Society

“Beyond a Civil Society: a Good Society.” (Published in German as “Mehr als eine Zivilgesellschaft: eine gute Gesellschaft”) Zerreißt das soziale Band: Beiträge zu einer aktuellen geseschaftspoliti

End Game: What the elderly have earned.

In the mid-1980s, a senator invited me to join the board of a new lobby he was forming that would be called Americans for Generational Equity, or AGE.

Communal Considerations

The ownership society sufferers from an intolerance for complexities.

Response to Simon Prideaux’s ‘From Organisational Theory to the New Communitarianism of Amitai Etzioni

“Response to Simon Prideaux’s ‘From Organisational Theory to the New Communitarianism of Amitai Etzioni’.” Canadian Journal of Sociology. Vol. 30, No. 2 (2005) pp. 215-217.

Red State, Blue State, Light Meat, Dark Meat

As my students were packing to home for Thanksgiving, I asked them what effect "Post-Election Stress Syndrom" was going to have on their holidays. Only two expected any troubles.

The American Slippage Towards Plutocracy

"The American Slippage Towards Plutocracy" Is Democracy in Danger? Phi Kappa Phi Forum (Winter 2004) pp. 26-29

There are too few lawsuits, not too many

Expect to hear all about it during the debates tonight, when Vice President Dick Cheney meets former civil litigator Joen Edwards: Junk lawsuits are ruining America.

Think global, act global

Governments, it is often said, are too big to solve the small problems and too small to solve the big ones.

The Post Affluent Society

Discomfort about the overarching goal of capitalist economies, and the idea that achieving ever higher levels of consumption of products and services is a vacuous goal, has been with us since the onset of industrialization. This contribution looks at the phenomenon and foundations of voluntary simplicity. Its psychological implications and consequences for societies are discussed.

A diet that works for us all

The day starts with a ritual. Not prayer or meditation, but Mounting the Scale. 

The Capabilities and Limits of the Global Civil Society

“The Capabilities and Limits of the Global Civil Society.” Millennium, Journal of International Studies. Vol. 33, No. 2 (December 2004), pp.341-353.

Gibson's Odious Film

Civil libertarians claim that Mel Gibson has a constitutionally protected right to make his movie The Passion of the Christ, which will drive score of individuals among the many millions o

Great Depths of Knowledge Await Below

"Great Depths of Knowledge Await Below" Los Angeles Times (Feb. 2, 2004) p. B11

A Virtual Web Community

"A Virtual Web Community" The National Law Journal (Jan. 19, 2004) p. 26

How Character is Built

"How Character is Built." Kappa Delta Pi Record (Winter 2004) pp. 54-57.

The Emerging Global Normative Synthesis

Out of discordant, often strident, conflicting voices that emanate from the East and the West, a new composition is slowly arising. The synthesized tune has a limited register and on many issues divergent voices will continue to be heard.

Immigrants Can Belong and Be Themselves

"Immigrants can belong and be themselves"  International Herald Tribune (Jan. 2, 2004) p.

On the Need For More Transnational Capacity

Professor Dinh raises the right issue higWighted by the 9/11 Commission: what should be the post-Cold War organizing principle for the global order?! Historians may well consider the period between 1989 and 2001 a confused interim, in which it was unclear what would replace the bipolar world.

A Self-Restrained Approach to Nation-Building by Foreign Powers

“A Self-Restrained Approach to Nation-Building by Foreign Powers.” International Affairs, Vol. 80, No. 1 (January 2004) pp. 1-17.
The central thesis of this essay is that nation-building -- however defined-- by foreign powers can rarely be accomplished and tends to be very costly, not merely in economic resources and those of political capital, but also in human lives.

Drivers License, Please

“Driver’s License, Please” The Boston Globe (December 24, 2003) p. A15.
Those who are horrified by the excesses of John Ashcroft's Justice Department should take note that some elementary and essential security measures have not yet been introduced.

Keep and eye on Liberty

“Keep an Eye on Liberty” The National Law Journal (December 15, 2003) p. 35.
Attonergy general John Ashcrost, this time, is truly going too far. Congress should immediately ban the use of the special powers, granted to the government to fight terrorism, abainst those suspected of having committed other crimes.

Fill Empty Hearts, Empty Chairs at Holiday Table

Thanksgiving is supposed to be the quintessential family holiday. However, for this first time, more than half my students will not be going home for the holiday this year. 

A Deadly Slippery Slope

“A Deadly Slippery Slope” The National Law Journal (November 10, 2003) p. 31.
The constitutional debate over whether a feeding tube may be removed from a patient in a persistent vegetative state is a no-brainer, but the moral issues involved are far from cut-and-dried [forgive the puns].

A Harmless Holiday Ritual That Has Gone Totally Amok

“A Harmless Holiday Ritual That Has Gone Totally Amok” Chicago Tribune (October 31, 2003) p. 23 (Also published: “Halloween: A Fun Holiday Turned into a Shopping Fest” The Miami Herald, (October 31, 2003) p. 25A).
This Halloween is the most commercialized and wildest of its kind since 9/11 and arguably in recent memory.

The Message – Not the Messenger – is Democrats’ Problem

“The Message – Not the Messenger – is Democrats’ Problem” The Christian Science Monitor (October 21, 2003) p. 9.
It is very difficult these days for friends and foes alike to find out what the Democratic Party stands for. Although there is one less voice in the cacophony of the Democratic presidential race - following the withdraw of Sen. Bob Graham - confusion is still high indeed.

How Liberty is Lost

“How Liberty is Lost.” Symposium: Fallacies in Democracy Society Vol. 40, No. 5 (July/August 2003) 44-51.

Communitarianism from the Encyclopedia of Community

Communitarianism is a social philosophy that maintains that society should articulate what is good–that such articulations are both needed and legitimate. Communitarianism is often contrasted with classical liberalism, a philosophical position that holds each individual should formulate the good on his or her own.

Are Virtual and Democratic Communities Feasible?

This paper asks whether communities and democracy can thrive in the new world, in cyberspace? This requires a two step examination. First, can there be virtual communities? Second, can these--and other (including offline) communities--govern themselves in a democratic way by drawing on new developments in cyberspace?

Are Particularistic Obligations Justified?

Are we justified when we care more about "our own kind" than about all others? Some scholars have tried to provide an answer based on what they consider human nature. Others--on self-interest

On Self-Evident Truths

The National Association of Scholars, at some point, may want to pass a rule stating that since relativism has been criticized to perfection, we shall henceforth dedicate to it not more than 10 percent of our attention and we shall devote much more energy to what will come next.

Peasant Insurance’ a Corporate Shame

“‘Peasant Insurance’ a Corporate Shame” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution (January 30, 2003) p. 13A.
At least one a week I buy my lunch from Au Bon Pain. It never occurred to me that its employees are subject to what I consider a screaming unethical conduct.

Organ Donation: A Communitarian Approach

Recently, various suggestions have been made to respond to the increasingly great shortage of organs by paying for them. Because of the undesirable side effects of such approaches (commodification, injustice, and costs), a communitarian approach should be tried first.

Flirting and Flag-Waving: the Revealing Study of Holidays and Rituals

“Flirting and Flag-Waving: the Revealing Study of Holidays and Rituals” Chronicle of Higher Education (December 13, 2002). p. 16B.
My colleagues in the social sciences may wish to bring along their laptops, or at least their notebooks, as they join family and friends during the winter holiday season.

Public Health Law: A Communitarian Perspective

American society has often favored individual rights disproportionately over the common good. In the aftermath of September 11, there is a need to readjust our criteria to allow for the strengthening of security, public safety, and public health policies.

Opening Islam

In 1982 President Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire;” in 2001 President Bush referred to the terrorists as the “evildoers.” Both were chastised for using such stark, biblical, moralistic terms. Both had a point, as the confrontations with militant forms of socialism and of Islam entail much more than a war over boundaries and resources, shifting balances of power, or avenging national slurs. These conflicts do speak to and for core moral and social values; both do concern the defense of liberty from enslaving forces.

The Good Society

This essay explores some of the elements of what makes for a good society--or--community--from a communitarian viewpoint, with consideration from a combination of social facts as seen by sociologist. Additionally, ethical considerations, with special attention paid to exclusivity and to equality, are addressed.

A Communitarian Approach on Character Education

America’s moral and social fabric is weakening. Too often we demand rights without assuming responsibilities, pursue entitlements while shying away from obligations. More broadly, as the increase in antisocial behavior over the last decades indicates, we have lost our commitment to values we all share and next to no new ones have arisen to replace those that were lost.

Individualism – Within History

Individualism-The "-ism" indicates a doctrine, dogmatic, overboard commitment-has been so soundly and repeatedly defeated that one must ask: Why is it standing at all? It is a concept so intellectually defective and morally misguided, that one cannot but wonder: Why do people still hold onto this fool's gold?

Towards a Socio-Economic Paradigm

This paper contains three parts. The first outlines the reasons I believe the time has come to develop a shared disciplinary core for socio-economics. It then turns to the principles that ought to guide us in developing such a core, and finally, suggests several specific elements for such a discipline. While my discussion benefits from a document formulated when SASE, a society founded to advance socio-economics, was first founded, all that follows reflected my current views as to on what is to be done and to feed into a dialogue on this subject.

Critics of ‘Boutique’ Doctor Care Miss the Point

“Critics of ‘Boutique’ Doctor Care Miss the Point” USA Today (January 24, 2002) p 15A.
For $600 to $5,000 a year above what their insurance already pays, patients at these "boutique" practices receive a battery of extra services from their doctors: 24/7 availability (some even given their cellphone numbers); hand-holding during major consultations with specialists; leisurely office visits free from the usual rush.

Professors Balance Duty to Students, Public Lives

“Professors Balance Duty to Students, Public Lives” USA Today (January 14, 2002) p 13A.
If you are a college student, plan to go to college or know anyone who is about to enroll, you may with to send a message of support to the beleaguered president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers.

Can There be a Global Society?

“Can There be a Global Society?” Perspectives (January, 2002) v 25, no. 1 p 1.
Theory develops in many ways, including through quests for internal consistency, codification, and formalization.

USA May be One Nation After All

“USA May be One Nation After All” USA Today (December 31, 2001) p 12A.
Despite Sept. 11, despite massive job layoffs that added another layer of grief for many American families, 2001 was quite a stellar year, which augurs well for the future.

Inventing Hispanics

“Inventing Hispanics” The Brookings Review (Winter 2001, vol. 20, no. 1) p 10.
Thirty years ago immigrants from Latin America who settled in the United States were perceived in terms of their home nation--as, for example, Cuban Americans or Mexican Americans, just as Europeans newcomers were seen as Italian Americans or Polish Americans. Today the immigrant flow from Central and South American has grown substantially, and the newcomers are known as Hispanics.

A Proud American Moment

“A Proud American Moment” The Christian Science Monitor (October 11, 2001) p 9.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, only one day after the assault on America, newspapers caried extensive reports about attacks on Muslim Americans.

Our Monochrome Values

“Our Monochrome Values” Christian Science Monitor (June 4, 2001), p 9.
What is going to happen to 'white' values?" Dale Hurd repeatedly asked while interviewing me for a TV program for the Christian Broadcasting Network.

On Social and Moral Revival

Assuming that American society (and to a lesser extent other Western societies) has experienced a breakdown of community, how may it be resurrected? Will it suffice to reweave the frayed social bonds, or is the recreation of a moral culture also essential?

The Communitarian Model

“The Communitarian Model.” Building a Healthy Culture: Strategies for an American Renaissance, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co: Grand Rapids, MI, 2001), 246-259.

The Third Way to a Good Society

The Third Way debate has, so far, not been very successful. While governments across the world searchfor a new political synthesis, the theoretical debate has offered little to those interested in a new framework for progressive politics. This essay presents an account of what the Third Way really means, and roots it in a communitarian vision of the good society.


Communitarianism is a social philosophy that maintains that societal formulations of the good are both needed and legitimate. Communitarianism is often contrasted with classical *liberalism, a philosophical position that holds each individual should formulate the good . Communitarians examines the ways shared conceptions of the good (values) are formed, transmitted, enforced and justified. Hence their interest in communities (and moral dialogues within them), historically transmitted values and mores, and the societal units that transmit and enforce values such the family, schools, and voluntary associations from social clubs to independent churches.

Is Bowling Together Sociologically Lite

Robert Putnam's new book raises crucial questions for the analysis of the social and moral future of American society. He demonstrates that the old, 1950s social fabric, and the white male dominated social bonds on which it was based, have largely frayed. Numerous kinds of civic engagement have declined, including participation in voluntary associations, public life, and religious activities. Putnam documents well that the anomie that followed this disengagement has had numerous ill effects on individuals and on society that are usually associated with the breakdown of social order, such as the increase in violent crime. The unavoidable question therefore is: What is going to fill the gnawing social vacuum? While he addresses this question largely in terms of a need to recreate social connectedness or community, it cannot be adequately answered, I shall argue, without examining the sources and content of a new shared moral culture.

Toward a good society

“Toward a good society” The Christian Science Monitor (March 19, 2001), p 9.
A young dotcommer, a friend of my son's, sold his company for $35 million. He was very unhappy, because a friend of his had sold his start-up for $55 million. (This was a year ago, before much of all the funny money turned into dust.) When I asked him if he was content, having made such a killing, he moaned.

For a Soft Moral Culture

Americans aspire to a society that is not merely civil but also good. A good society is one in which people treat one another as ends in themselves and not merely as instruments, a society in which each person is shown full respect and dignity rather than being used and manipulated.

The Monochrome Society: Policy Review. No. 105

281. "The Monochrome Society." Policy Review. No. 105 (February & March 2001), 53-70.

Various demographers and other social scientists have been predicting for years that the end of the white majority in the United States is near, and that there will be a majority of minorities. CNN broadcast a special program on the forthcoming majority of people of color in America.(1) President Clinton called attention to this shift in an address at the U.C. San Diego campus on a renewed national dialogue about race relations.(2)

America Needs Secular Redemption

Imagine that you are offered your dream job. To get it, though, you have to tell all--any time you did not pay the IRS all you owed; any time you told a dirty joke to your secretary or--hired an illegal immigrant. You know that if you mention any of this, you may as well kiss the job goodbye. You are likely to be tempted (at least I fear I would be) to try to get away with it, by lying to those responsible for checking you out. Now you have multiplied the original "sin" a hundred times. There must be a better way.

Are white students hurt by others who look ‘just like them’?

Today, a federal court will begin hearing a case that may ultimately determine whether qualified white students can be denied college admission so other whites will enjoy a "diverse educational environment."

Investing in People

Promoted as "an agenda-setting book for the next administration," Amitai Etzioni's Next: The Road to the Good Society will arrive in bookstores this month, offering an outline for connection the nation's social, cultural, and spiritual values to the task of public-policy formulation. In the excerpt below, Mr. Etzioni, director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University in Washington, advances the provocative notion that reforming education in this country may mean reversing the system's long-standing bias toward higher education.

The Next Grand Dialogue: A New Counterculture, Religious Revival?

The great success of the economy in the 1990s made Americans pay more attention to the fact that there are numerous moral and social questions of concern to the good society that capitalism has never aspired to answer and that the state should not promote. These include moral questions such as what we owe our children, our parents, our friends, and our neighbors, as well as people from other communities, including those in far away places. Most important, we must address the question: what is the ultimate purpose of our personal and collective endeavors? Is ever greater material affluence our ultimate goal and source of meaning? When is enough enough? What are we considering the good life? And specifically, can the good society be built on ever increasing levels of affluence? Or, should we strive to center it around other values, those of mutuality and spirituality?

Childless complainers don’t know what they’re missing

Much attention in this campaign has been focused on "working families." Politicians had better take note that one out of three voters are single -- and a fair number plan to stay that way. Many of them are responding to the siren calls of critics who argue that the society is favoring parents over those who are child "free."

How to thwart AIDS in Africa

“How to thwart AIDS in Africa” USA Today (September 20, 2000), page 17A.
When millions are condemned to die a horrible death, it is a sin to mince words.

The Right to Privacy vs. the Common Good

Drug testing violates the privacy of those tested.

Golden middle’ ends conflicts

Investigative files made public a few days ago indicate that it probably will be next to impossible to determine with any finality what caused the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 -- an airliner that, despite investigator's inability to find any fatal mechanical failure, nevertheless plunged Oct. 31 into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.

The road to the good society

The Third Way takes for granted that the state is neither the problem nor the solution, that unfettered markets can cause much havoc and suffering, and that carefully contained markets can be powerful engines of economic growth and employment. Above all, it maintains that a society best relies on three pillars: a strong but lean government; a well-developed but encapsulated market; and a vibrant community.

A Communitarian Perspective on Privacy

Internet Privacy and the Stattoric or by Paul Schwartz raises many issues on many levels, ranging from questions of rhetoric or law to matters of sociology of privacy or communitarian philosophy. In this commentary, however, I will focus on a few specific areas, as it is impossible to do justice to all of his arguments, nor do I have the technical legal background to do so.

Social Norms: Internalization, Persuasion, and History

Legal scholars have rediscovered social norms. For decades, the insights and findings of law and society(1) were largely ignored, and law and economics--which mostly ignores social norms--was all the rage. In the past few years, however, new powerful essays about social norms have begun appearing in law reviews.(2) As Richard Epstein wrote recently, "the subject of social norms is once again hot."(3)

Debating the Societal Effects of the Internet: Connecting with the World

One can readily sympathize with Professors Norman Nie and Lutz Erbring, the investigator and co-investigator of a recent study on the social consequences of the internet conducted by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society. Like many scholars before them who have conducted extensive surveys, their results at first seemed rather self-evident and dull. They spent much effort and resources to reach 4,113 adults in 2,689 households. They analyzed their data and came up with such findings as the internet is used more for e-mail (90%) than banking (12%), more people use the internet for surfing (69%) than for trading stocks (7%), and those who use it extensively spend less time in traffic (14% of heavy users).

Our frenetic electronic life

At the entrance to the library of my university, a sign warns: "Turn off your cellphones or put them on silent ring." Some blessed coffee shops display a cellphone in a red circle with a line through it, indicating that the buzzards are barred. Many performances in concert halls and theaters (in the United States) regularly start with a warning to turn off pagers.

Moral Dialogues in Public Debates

Communitarians argue that democratic societies require a core of shared values. To be legitimate a democracy must be something more than a procedure that allows individuals with different values to work out shared policies. The question is, what is the most effective way for communities to collectively formulate shared values?

Toward a Theory of Public Ritual

Given that holidays both reflect a society's attributes and serve to modify these attributes, they are a valuable tool for a macro-sociological analysis. This paper proceeds by examining Durkheim's well-known contributions on rituals and advancing theoretical ideas on how these might be modified, seeking to develop a theory of holidays.

The Internet Versus the Sabbath

The clash between the so-called liberating forces of globalization and the conservative forces of tradition came face to face last May. On May 27, 1999 the board of the National Association of Securities Dealers (the parent organization of Nasdaq) announced that it planned to open an evening trading session for stocks between 5:30 pm and 9:00 or 10:00 pm. Nasdaq president, Richard Ketchum added, "there may come a day when we trade 24 hours." He did not say that the "24/7 week," as they say in Silicon Valley, is already here. One can now trade twenty-four hours, seven days a week (including holidays), on the Internet.

Back to the Pillory?

“Back to the Pillory?” The American Scholar, Vol. 68, No. 3, (Summer 1999), pp. 43-50. Published in part as “Shaming Crominals: An Alternative Punishment,” Current, No. 417, (November 1999), 7-11.

The Monochrome Society

Various demographers and other social scientists have been predicting for years that the end of the white majority in the United States is near, and that there will be a majority of minorities. CNN has broadcasted a special program on the subject;(2)President Clinton has called attention to it in national dialogue about race relations;(3) and numerous books and articles in recent years have addressed America's changing demography from vastly different--and frequently antagonistic--perspectives.

The Truths We Must Face to Curb Youth Violence

Conservative Republicans are right when they tell us, in response to the tragedy in Littleton, that "gun control will not solve the problem of youth violence." Liberal Democrats are right when they claim that it is ludicrous to assert that parents and educators could solve the problem by bringing up kids right.

The Good Life

A recent, very tempered debate between William A. Galston and Robert P. George brought into relief the importance of a concept neither employed, that of the good society.

Voluntary Simplicity: Characterization, Select Psychological Implications, and Societal Consequences

The idea that the over-arching goal of capitalist economies needs to be changed and that achieving ever-higher levels of consumption of products and services is

Moral Dialogues: A Communitarian Core Element

Communitarians argue that democratic societies require a core of shared values; that if democracy is merely a procedure that allows individuals who have different ultimate normative commitments to settle differences, then that polity will lack in legitimacy.

Deliberations, Culture Wars, and Moral Dialogues

Communitarians tend to argue that democratic societies require a core of shared values; that if democracy is merely a procedure that allows individuals who have

Cross Cultural Judgements: The Next Steps

“Cross Cultural Judgements: The Next Steps.” War and Border Crossings, ed. Peter A. French and Jason A. Short. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005) pp. 107-119.

Civic Repentance: Just and Effective

When my children were young, I tried to encourage them to be virtuous, to appreciate when they lived up to their commitments, and to celebrate their achievements. 

Cross-Cultural Judgments: The Next Steps

The debate between those who argue that we should not pass judgment on the conduct of other people and those who champion universal human rights or other global

How Americans Can Contribute to the Common Good

In 1989, while I was a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School teaching ethics, I came across a finding in the library that symbolized for me the problem people have today in 

recognizing the common good.

Community of Communities

“Community of Communities.” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 3, (Summer 1996), 127-138.

The Responsive Community

“The Responsive Community,” in Roderick F. French (ed.) An Individual Institution in a Free Society, The George Washington University, Washington DC, 1988, pp. 82-94.

Die verantwortungsbewufte Gesellschaft Zur Rolle gemeinsamaer Werte fur das Gleichgewicht zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft

“Die verantwortungsbewufte Gesellschaft Zur Rolle gemeinsamaer Werte fur das Gleichgewicht zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft,” Warnfried Dettling (Ed.), Die Zukunft denken, International Symposium, (October 23, 1995), 42-49.

A Moderate Communitarian Proposal

On some of the long-debated issues between libertarians and communitarians the two sides are narrowing their differences.

The Socio-Economics of Work

Socio-economics is a discipline that combines the perspectives of neoclassical economics with those of sociology, anthropology, psychology and political science.  

Too Many Rights, Too Few Responsibilities

A sociological prize of sorts ought to be given to the member of the TV audience who, during a show about the S&L mess exclaimed, "The tax payers shouldn't pay for this, the government should!"

The Responsive Community …a new political movement is born

Even inveterate optimists cannot miss the awful signs of social decline in America...

HIV Sufferers Have a Responsibility

“HIV Sufferers Have a Responsibility.” Ethical Health Care, ed. Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet. (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006) pp. 140-142.

The Parental Deficit

THE TROUBLE with the recent debate about parental responsibility is that both sides (or more) have a point. Conservatives are right that many families have been neglecting their children, that parents must assume more responsibility for their children, and that they should be sent strong signals that this is their duty.

How to Make Marriage Matter

"It is easier in these United States to walk away from a marriage than from a commitment to purchase a used car," says Professor Thomas Morgan of the George Washington University School of Law.

Managers in the Moral Dimension: What Etzioni Might Mean to Corporate Managers

The significance of the article by Shaw and Zollers is that it advances socio-economics in several major directions.

How About a Bill of Responsibilities?

The Founding Fathers did not bother to write down a bill of particulars for our social responsibilities to match the Bill of Rights. In the days of closely knit communities and religiously committed individuals, one’s responsibilities were all too clear, it was rights that needed enshrining. However, as public opinion polls keep reminding us, it seems we have come full circle: Rights are now taken for granted while responsibilities are shirked.

Clinton is Talking Like One, But Is He a Communitarian?

President Bill Clinton often speaks in communitarian terms: “If we have no sense of community, the American dream will continue to wither.” Likewise, Vice President Al Gore has echoed a communitarian theme: “While we give supreme value to the rights of the individual, we expect that freedom to be exercised with respect toward others and with decent restraint.” And Hillary Rodham Clinton believes, The Washington Post said, that “People need to serve each other, and serve their communities, distinguish themselves by social activism.” But how good a communitarian is Bill Clinton?

Virtues in a Democracy

If a community recognizes a set of moral values and commitments as compelling, as virtues, these become the foundations of moral discourse in that community.

A Socio-Economic Perspective on Friction

During the deliberations of a faculty seminar on socio-economics at The George Washington University in 1986-7, before the dramatic developments in Eastern Europe, the question of the pace of socio-economic change kept coming up.

Beyond Self-Interest

“Beyond Self-Interest,” Policy Analysis and Economics, Developments, Tensions, Prospects, David L. Weimer (Ed.), Recent Economic Thought Series.

We Shall Reap What We Sow

“We Shall Reap What We Sow” San Jose Mercury News, (May 2, 1993), p. 1P.

Family is Basis of Community

“What is Communitarianism?” we are frequently asked. We are a social movement aiming at shoring up the moral, social and political environment. Part change of heart, part renewal of social bonds, part reform of public life.

The Limits to Worker Privacy

You work in a corporate division that processes medical reimbursements. You note that John is going through a new bout of alcoholism. He drives an 18-wheeler for your company. Do you tell the boss?

The Evils of Self-Determination

Self-determination movements, a major historical force for more than 200 years, have largely exhausted their legitimacy as a means to create more strongly democratic states.

Virtues and Constitutional Democracy

“Virtues and Constitutional Democracy,” Kettering Review, (Summer 1992), pp. 31-37.

How is Russia Bearing Up?

Some leading neoclassical economists feed into American triumphalism and excessive optimism to prevent us from approaching the historical developments in the post-Soviet world in a sensible and productive fashion.

The I & We Paradigm

“The I & We paradigm,” Paul Ekins and Manfred Max-Neef (Eds.), Real-life Economics, Understanding Wealth Creation, Routledge, London and New York (1992), pp.48-53.

Socio-Economics: Select Policy Implications

Socio-economics is a new paradigm that seeksto combine the kind of variables typically encompassed by neo-classical economics with those contained in other social sciences.

Corporate Behavior: Fewer Flaws Means Fewer Laws

The secretary of an executive at Donallco, a California corporation, reported that when she scheduled her boss to fly on an airline, he told her to change the reservation. 

Contemporary Liberals, Communitarians, and Individual Choices

The recent flurry of exchanges between contemporary liberal philosophers and their communitarian critics points to a theoretical middle ground, directly relevant to economics.

On the Place of Virtues in a Pluralistic Democracy

If a community recognizes a set of moral values and commitments as compelling, as virtues, these become the foundations of moral discourse in that community.  

Social Science as a Multicultural Canon

The current debate over educational canons largely involves the humanities disciplines of history and literature.

A New Community of Thinkers, Both Liberal and Conservative

A sociological prize ought to be awarded to the member of a TV audience who, during a show about the S&L mess, exclaimed: “The taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this; the government should!” He expressed well a major theme of contemporary American civic culture: a strong sense of entitlement and a weak sense of obligation to the community. Americans hold dear the right to be tried by a jury of their peers; but when asked to serve on such juries, most do their damnedest to evade the call. Most Americans cheered our show of force in the Gulf, but very few wish to serve in the armed forces or have their children sign up.

Reflections on Teaching Business Ethics

“Reflections on Teaching Business Ethics,” Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 4, (October 1991), pp. 355-365.

American Competitiveness: The Moral Dimension

At first glance, America's loss of competitiveness seems a simple matter. The litany is all too familiar.

Beyond 'Political Correctness,' Left or Right

A liberal friend scratched me off his cock-tail party guest list. 


The Slings and Errors of a New Publication

If you are thinking of starting a quarterly publication, lie down until the urge goes away. I did not; I am still standing, but barely. The economic, social, and intellectual curve balls that I have had to field in the past I would not wish on my least favorite people.

Socio-Economics: The Next Steps

Socioeconomists should not act like shoemakers who have no time to make shoes for themselves.

The Socio-Economics of Property

It is suggested that in future work it will be useful to recognize that property exists on two levels: symbolic and real.


The Good Polity: Can We Design It?

Depicting a good polity, one that is morally superior and desired, is relatively easy. 


Label Em Hazardous: Economic Forecasters are in Deep Voodoo

If the press reported daily on changes in the emperor's wardrobe, the people would believe he was wearing clothes. 


The special-interest cookie jar is covered with fingerprints

During last year’s Senate hearings on the Keating scandal, Sen. Alan Cranston accused his colleagues of “sheer hypocrisy” for bringing him up on charges, correctly implying that many of his fellow politicians could easily have been lined up right next to him.

Socio-Economics Revisited

Parsons' Marshall Lectures were an important and still are a relevant contribution to the critique of the utilitarian, rationalist, radically individualist paradigm which still dominates scholarship, especially economics, today.

The New Rugged Communitarianism

For several years, on many fronts, champions of greater responsibility to the community have become something of a new force in American life. They think of themselves as “communitarians,” though so far there is no registry of communitarians and no formal association. Nevertheless, their influence is real enough, and so are their objectives: to evolve public policies, moral norms, and regulatory guidelines that will correct what they perceive as excessive, “radical” individualism.

The Socio-Economic View of Redevelopment

In recent years the USA economy has exhibited signs of becoming a member of a category of economy best termed underdeveloping.  


Feeding a Fantasy. NASA Out of Orbit

No government agency is more adept at public relations that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Liberals and Communitarians

Communitarians charge contemporary liberal philosophers (CLP) with an excessive focus on individual rights and with neglect of obligations to the community, to shared virtues and common purposes.

Money, Power and Fame

I thought I was overprepared to teach ethics to a bunch of MBA'S. So what if these were the best and brightest of future corporate America? To me, Harvard Business School students seemed just as bright eyed, eager, and open to new ideas as any I had had in 30 years of teaching at Columbia, Berkeley and George Washington. Having just completed a book on ethics, "The Moral Dimension," I was loaded with teaching material; and a lengthy series of faculty meetings on teaching ethics had me convinced: sure, it could be done.

A Matter of Goals: High Growth – Or Deficit Reduction?

“A Matter of Goals: High Growth – Or Deficit Reduction?,” Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Vol. 4, No. 4 (New Series), Fall 1989, pp. 555-570.

Humble Decision Making

Old-fashioned decision making doesn't meet the needs of a world with too much information and too little time. So-called rational decision making, once the ideal, requires comprehensive knowledge of every facet of a problem, which is clearly impossible today. One of the most recent decision-making models, incrementalism, despairs of knowledge and instead concentrates on the smallest possible units of change-without any sense of grand design.

Are Business Schools Brainwashing Their MBAs?

Soon business recruiters will ask prospective MBAs not only about their grade average, but how they scored in their ethics education.

Toward Deontological Social Sciences

Is it alright to cast one Christian to the lions, if it will provide considerable pleasure to many Romans?' was a question posed to a seminar.

No Place for Troubled Teen-Agers

Sally, 16, used to spend entire weekends with an older man in bohemian Greenwich Village in New York City. For a while, she was sleeping with two guys.

When her more traditionally minded, single mother tried to put an end to these liaisons, Sally told her to buzz off, using a less printable term.Her outraged mother felt she could not “control” Sally and had her committed to a mental hospital with the help of a psychiatrist she knew. Because Sally tried to escape by breaking down a door, she was declared “violent” and heavily sedated. Now she drifts between docility and disorientation.

Choosing Social Science Paradigms

The dialogue between the prevailing and the challenging social science paradigms builds on basic differences in social philosophy: the two positions contain divergent views of human nature (are people basically knaves or nobles?) and of social order (are individuals naturally harmonious or is man wolf to man?).

The 'Me First' Model in the Social Sciences Is Too Narrow

The neoclassical view predominating in both the social sciences and the public realm is that people always pursue their own self-interest. 

To Just Say No Leaves Vacuum That Still Yearns to Be Filled

The campaign to convince Americans, especially the young, to refrain from using controlled substances, is negative in focus. It admonishes, threatens and demands self-restraint.

Institutionalized Child-Care: Can It Fill Parenting Deficit?

America is increasingly doing to its children what it has done to its elderly, and to worse effect: separating them out of the family and warehousing them in poorly supervised institutions.

ACLU is Running a Risk: Excessive Individualism

John Tanton, M.D., is about to strike again. This time his target is the American Civil Lbierties Union (ACLU). He is launching a counter-organization, the American Civil Rights and Responsibilities Union (ACRRU). The ACRRU will conduct educational campaigns, draft legislation, and file briefs to help ensure that the rights and needs of the commons will not be neglected in hot pursuit of Me-ism and special interests.

Normative Affective Factors: Toward a New Decision-Making Model

The author outlines a radically different decision-making model form the one widely used in Economics and in Psychology. 

Say ‘I’m Sorry’ Like a Man

CAMBRIDGE, Mass----Will nobody ever again own up to his transgressions and take the punishment like a person of character, setting a much-needed example?

How Rational We?

How rational people are is a question of interest to social sciences, public policy, and all educated persons.

The Responsive Community (I & We)

“The Responsive Community (I & We),” The American Sociologist, Summer 1987, pp. 146-157.

U.S. Technological, Economic, and Social Development for the 21st Century

In the late 1970s, the United States became a member of a rather new and small categoryof countries, properly defined as the under developing countries, whose economic development had slipped into reverse gear.

In Praise of Public Humiliation

Public humiliation is a surprisingly effective and low-cost way of deterring criminals and expressing the moral order of a community. It is used by a few judges, but much too sparingly. Some jurisdictions publish the names of “Johns” who are caught frequenting prostitutes.

Toward a Kantian Socio-Economics

"Toward a Kantian Socio-Economics,” Review of Social Economy, Vol. XLV (April, 1987), No. 1, pp. 37-47.

Nine Ways for Coping With Future Angst: What I Learned

“Nine Ways for Coping With Future Angst: What I Learned” in Michael Marien and Lane Jennings (eds.) What I Have Learned: Thinking about the Future Then and Now (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987) pp.101-106.

Socio-Economics: Humanizing the Dismal Science

Answer the following questions: Did you make your 1986 IRA contribution on any day after Jan. 2, 1986? Did you ever vote or make a contribution to public TV? Have your friends, relatives or clerics ever influenced you to alter any of your goals? If you answer these questions in the affirmative, your behavior illustrates why the core assumptions of mainstream economics are wrong, and why a new science is emerging to explain how and why people make choices. This new discipline - called socio-economics - blends elements of psychology and political science as well as sociology with economics.

I and We: The Case for the Open Community

Out of opposition to collectivism grew the celebration of the individual. Long before libertarians objected to totalitarianism in the name of individual rights, laissez faire conservatives challenged the collectivism that had been entailed in nationalism, Catholic and Anglican church doctrines, and secular pessimistic theories of human nature (theories that favored collective institutional and cultural restraints “to keep the lid” on individual urges).

The Fast-Food Factories: McJobs are Bad for Kids

McDonald's is bad for your kids. I do not mean the flat patties and the white-flour buns; I refer to the jobs teen-agers undertake, mass-producing these choice items.

Ethics, Development, and the Need for a New Paradigm

"Is it alright to cast one Christian to the lions, if it will provide considerable pleasure to many Romans?" was a question posed to a seminar.

Entrepreneurship, Adaptation, and Legitimation

Societal patterns often lag behind the constantly changing environment.

A Better Way?

As neo-classical economic theories face severe criticism for their unreality, new approaches are emerging.

Duty: The Forgotten Virtue

Air accidents can be viewed as random tests of the extent to which those responsible for keeping airplanes flying are doing their duty.

Growing Up In a World of Hard Choices

An old Chinese proverb - or is it a curse? - reads "May you live in interesting times"

The Case for a Multiple Utility Conception

In recent decades, neoclassical economists have made heroic efforts to accommodate within the confines of the concept of rational utility maximization the fact that individual behavior is significantly affected by moral considerations.

Socio-Economics: A Proposal for a New Inter-Disciplinary Field

Psychologists (working with sociologists and political scientists) seem ready to go beyond piece meal studies of economic behavior, or studies of economic behavior as merely incidents of general psychological theorems.

Mixed Scanning Revisited

An article on mixed scanning as a "third" approach to decision making, published in Public Administration Review, generated a steady stream of discussion, but little empirical research.

Opening the Preferences: A Socio-Economic Research Agenda

Economists tend to view preferences as given, either a subject to be studied by other disciplines or as constant and universal, and hence as not requiring study.

Socio-Economics: A New Department?

At infrequent but important junctures in the history of the academic division of labor, scholars seek recognition for new disciplines.  

Rationality Is Anti-Entropic

The article explores the fruitfulness of assuming all economic behavior to be non-rational unless special factors intervene to make it rational.

Making Policy for Complex Systems: A Medical Model for Economics

In recent years, policy analysts have shown a growing interest in less rationalistic policymaking models. 


The World-Class University That Our City Has Become

When I accepted a professorship at The George Washington University in 1980, several of my colleagues wondered: "Leaving Columbia University - to move to Washington?"

Encapsulated Competition

While economists have made perfect competition the cornerstone of modern economic theory, dissatifaction with the concept has led to many quests for "second best" concepts, including such notions as "workable competition," "monopolistic competition," and "contestable markets."  

The American Family: Making it Work

The long decline of the Americal family seems to have stopped and reconstruction has begun

Nice Guys Finish First: Today’s Television Heroes

Recently an old movie and TV formula has been reversed - with considerable success. The bad guys have become the good guys, and the good guys are almost too good to be true.

The Industry Called Parenting

Even as we admire the prospects of technology, we cannot disregard the human factor, which increasingly appears to be coming unhinged.

The Essential Family

The family is widely considered the "first" institution, the elementary cell of social life. It is here that maturity is first experienced and civility is first taught.

The Reindustrialization of America

Can't we have both social progress and economic progress? I have often been asked this question during discussions of the current conflict in America between those who seek an improved 'quality of life' and those who favor rededication to economic growth. I have been asked if I think it is possible for America to de- velop new energy sources, increase productivity, keep consumer products flowing, and at the same time use the growing wealth to purchase an environment, a workplace, and consumer products that are healthier and safer.

Toward a Political Psychology of Economics

This paper explores the relationship between economics and the other social sciences and the implications for public policymaking.  

Productivity: The Human Factor

Research on the effects of human factors on productivity is a much neglected field.

Beyond Integration, Toward Guidability

Integration of population and development policies is a sound idea, but it provides insufficient basis for devising relevant public policies.  

Redefining the Good Life

When attempting to find a useful perspective from which to view such a complex phenomenon as American society, it is fruitful to focus on "the societal project."

The Need to Put a Price on Life

Representatives of several leading U.S. corporations have adopted a new technique against the movement for safer products, workplaces and other environments. Rather than get entangled in the complex and emotional questions of how much safety we can afford, how much a life is worth, they have chosen - indeed, invented - a much easier target: the "risk-free society."

Toward a New Affirmation

“Toward a New Affirmation,” National Forum, Vol. LVIII, No. 4 (Fall 1978), pp. 37-42.

From Zion to Diaspora

For people to be in charge of history, rather than subject to laws they do not understand or control, is an option of the postnuclear era, not a prediction. This is what my work is about. When I first joined the Columbia University faculty, C. Wright Mills was still around, but most of the senior faculty did not care for his brand of sociology. Soon a senior colleague took me aside and advised me to stay off the stuff; i.e., off critical, normative, activist sociology. He was very warm and meant well. "Mixing socialism with social work" (his sarcastic labels for active sociology) is not the way to make it." I was told at the time.

Fighting America’s Dishonesty Epidemic

Dishonesty in America is nearing epidemic proportion. We long ago passed the point of isolated ourbreak one in a town, two in a city.

Groups: The Sense of Belonging

Next time you face a problem - any problem - don't call your mother (certainly not your former mother-in-law) or a therapist, minister, gardener, or another professional.

Basic Characterological Needs and Changing Social Systems

“Basic Characterological Needs and Changing Social Systems,” in Gordon T. DiRenzo (ed.) We, the People: American Character and Social Change (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977), pp. 273-284.

The Push for Moral Education in Schools

The next time many American parents look over their children's homework, they may well have a surprise coming.

The Husband’s Rights in Abortion

When a married woman seeks and abortion, does her husband have any rights regarding the decision?

Human Nature and the Transforming Society

The essence of the question of what kind of society we may form-once we are freed from our past repressions and the hangover of our liberation feast-is what kind of material do we have to work with?

Alternative Conceptions of Accountability

The following view of accountability-the guidance approach-is the view closest to my heart. It took me 600-odd pages to explain it elsewhere." Here I will simply susgcst its chief points relevant to the issue at hand.

The Crisis of Modernity: Deviation of Demise?

There are those who believe that the contemporary crisis of our society is a temporary, a limited setback as our civilization rises to higher plateaux of organization, knowledge, planning and competence, onward and forward into the ultra-modern (or technetronic) age.

Human Beings Are Not Very Easy To Change After All

A while back there was a severe shortage of electricity in New York City, and Columbia University tried to help out in two ways: A card reading "Save a watt" was placed on everyone's desk and janitors removed some light bulbs from university corridors.

The Woman’s Movement–Tokens vs. Objectives

As far as recognition is concerned, Women's Liberation has made it.

Research in Teaching Colleges?

My being considered for the presidency of a 30,000-student state college cam as no surprise at all as the rate college presidents were resigning for the last two year, anyone who, like myself, had survived as a chairman of a major department at a nationally visible university was almost automatically considered.

Continuity and Discontinuity in the Contemporary Crisis of Meaning

At least since Karl Mannheim published his essays on “Diagnosis of Our Time” and “The Crisis in Valuation,”’ it has been recognized that the erosion of legitimation and the loss of meaning are twin sources of Western civilization’s deep crisis.

What Cable TV Could Mean

Cable television provides a technology which could radically alter many aspects of our lives.

On Changing Societies

Societies were once viewed as natural entities found, like a jungle tribe, in a primal condition and able to change their character from, say, agrarian to industrial without any one person or group of people having planned the change.

Policy Research

Policy research is concerned with mapping alternative approaches and with specifying potential differences in the intention, effect, and cost of various programs.


Throughout history, violence-killing, maiming, and the willful destruction of property-occurs in all societies.

Indicators of the Capacities for Societal Guidance

This paper discusses the continuation of the effort to develop indicators of marcrosociological concepts.

The Fallacy of Decentralization

In 1947, I was delivering hay from Tel Yoseph, an Israeli kibbutz, to Ein Harod, another kibbutx less than a mile away.

Man and Society: The Inauthentic Condition

Among sociologists and social psychologists the concept of 'basic human needs' is held in low regard.

Shortcuts to Social Change

“Shortcuts to Social Change,” The Public Interest, No. 12 (Summer 1968), pp. 40-51. Reprinted in Current (October 1968), pp.

Societal Guidance: A Key to Macro-Sociology

Over the next twenty years, the United States will be brought, in one way or another, to attend more fully to its mounting social problems.  

Confessions of a Professor Caught in a Revolution

It was during last spring's student demonstration at Columbia University that, for the first time in 10 years, I became involved in university committee work, which I loathe. It really caught up with me; I ended by chairing a "reform" committee and spending at least 130 hours--in one month--meeting with students and colleagues at Columbia, almost a full-time job. I never realized that revolutions involve so much talk.

Mobilization as a Macrosociological Concept

Mobalization is a process in which a social unit gains relatively rapidly in control of resources it previously did not control.

Toward a Theory of Guided Societal Change

If we observe a society faced with a problem--poverty, riots, unsafe cars--and formulating a program to deal with it, we can be sure that 9 times out of 10 the problem will not be solved.

Organizational Dimensions and Their Interrelationships: A Theory of Compliance

The importance of organizations as a distinct social phenomenon hardly needs to be demonstrated.

Mixed Scanning: A "Third" Approach to Decision Making

In the concept of social decision-making, vague commitments of a normative and political nature are translated into commitments to one or more specific courses of action.

Toward a Macrosociology

A macrosociology is needed both on theoretical and on pragmatic grounds.

Toward a Theory of Societal Guidance

An attempt to outline the basis for a macrosociological theory.

Social Control: Organizational Aspects

All social units control their members, but the problem of control in organizations is especially acute.

Crime and Free Will

For decades sociologists have argues that crime is an illness not a sin, that criminals do not freely choose a life of larceny, prostitution or narcotics peddling.

Dual Leadership in Complex Organizations

This paper attempts to integrate theoretically the Bales-Parsons model of small groups and a theory of complex organizations.

Organizational Control Structure

Organizational control structure is a distribution of means used by an organization to elicit the performances it needs and to check whether the quantities and qualities of such performances are in accord with organizational specifications.

Social Analysis as a Sociological Vocation

Elephantiasis, an abnormal thickening and enlargement of tissues, occurs in both the animal and the plant kingdoms. 

The Dialectics of Supranational Unification

The application of several European Free Trade Association countries for membership in the common market is viewed in Washington with great pleasure: the development of a United States of Europe is

A Paradigm for the Study of Political Unification

A paradigm is more than a perspective, but less than a theory.

Two Approaches to Organizational Analysis: A Critique and A Suggestion

The often used goal model for measuring effectiveness is criticized.

New Directions in the Study of Society and Organizations

In recent years we have witnessed the beginning of a new trend in the sociology of complex organizations.

Interpersonal and Structural Factors in the Study of Hospitals

The youngest branch in the field of organizational theory is the study of mental hospitals.

Authority Structure and Organizational Effectiveness

An important factor in the ability of an organization to achieve its goals is its authority structure.

The Ghetto- A Re-Evaluation

The republication of The Ghetto by Louis Wirth seems to be an appropriate occasion for a reevaluation of his thesis. 

Lower Levels of Leadership in Industry

The distinction between formal and informal organization may serve to delineate the sources of motivation for accepting or rejecting the role-expectations of an organizational structure.

Industrial Sociology: The Study of Economic Organizations

Industrial Sociology is a field of applied sociology, and has grown mainly out of interests in such issues as productivity, motivation, and unionization. In many cases, however, the theoretical relevance of the studies is evident, and often it is explicitly discussed by those who conducted the research.

Administration and the Consumer

The ideal of service to the public prevails. In our society, it is derived in the main from the ideal of the maximum happiness of the greatest number. By definition, public services are assumed to have been established in order to supply services to the public.

Democratic and Non-Democratic Supervision in Industry

The human relations school has often been criticized for not paying enough attention to structural and cultural factors and for focusing on factors which can be controlled.

Religious Parties: The Base of Political Stability

Understanding the political function of religioue parties is important for an analysis of the political process of many countries. Religious parties play a significant role in Holland, France, Italy, Getmany, Israel and many other countries.

Social Maturity

“Social Maturity,” Encyclopedia Hebraica (1953) (in Hebrew), Vol. 7, pp. 613-616.