Discussion Question Responses

 Please respond to the below discussion questions

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– The discussion questions should be responded to separately

– Expand on your colleagues’ postings with an additional insight on how ethical norms and codes of conduct within different cultures might affect pub administrators’ perceptions of human rights.

– Suggest another example of differing cultures with different norms and values in support of your colleagues’ postings.

Discussion #1

Cultural differences in ethical norms and codes of conduct might affect the public administrator’s perception of human rights within the country. The ways in which differences of culture might affect perception are near limitless, to contain this topic into the length of a discussion post, here are two specific ways.

Ethnic norms-In Rwanda, there are three primary ethnic groups; Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa (Painter, 2018). Ten thousand years of history, to include war and European colonization, created norms and social hierarchies most recently culminating in a genocide in the mid-1990s. Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) run a majority of the schools in the country. Social norms, for example the way that the Twa people are seen as low-level workers who do not need higher education due to their ethnic background, might conflict with a public administrator’s role in a school. 

Corruption norms- Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) lists Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, North Korea, and Yemen as the most corrupt countries. An NGO administrator working in these countries would most likely find that local norms (i.e. bribery, elections, theft, nepotism) conflict with program and ethical requirements of the job (2019).

Global governance structures and nongovernmental organizations can affect improvements in human rights. According to Twiss (2011), three examples of affected improvements using global structures are indigenous peoples, human rights and environmental concerns, and finally human rights and transitional justice. In the case of indigenous peoples, success came in the form a vote for the approval of the “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” in September 2007. However, Benjamin warns that humanitarian-motivated interventions have been used in the past, specifically by the United States and Russia prior to incursions in Korea, Afghanistan, and Grenada (2010). Perhaps these “false” interventions slowed later interventions in Rwanda, Somalia, and Sudan. 


Benjamin, D. O. (2010). Rethinking nonintervention: The challenge of the UN charter and protecting the dispossessed. Public Integrity, 12(3), 201–218.

Painter, R. (2018). Rwanda. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=88391168&site=eds-live&scope=site

Transparency International. (2019). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.transparency.org/

Twiss, S. B. (2011). Global ethics and human rights: A reflection. Journal of Religious Ethics, 39(2), 204–222. 

Discussion #2

The United States consists of two groups: orthodox and progressivist. The difference is their views of morality. Orthodox individuals believe that nature reveals morality and progressivists are free thinking individuals that believe that they make their own choices about morality. Orthodox individuals believe that when individuals act immorally then they will be punished. Progressivists believe that the cultural differences are important which leads to not punishing individuals for moral transgressions and instead doing what is necessary to restore order to society (Lene, 1997).

Public administration is the foundation of creating effective ethical codes. Having effective ethical codes lead to an honest work environment and a system to reward and punish employees. Although having ethical codes does not force the government to act ethically, it does show the government that the public requires integrity. As public servants there is a sense of personal integrity which is aligned with the organization’s ethics and leads an ethical and effective organization (Gilman, 2005).

The ethical codes assist public servants with fulfilling their responsibilities to the public. However, in places where there is no democracy the public act according to rules created by the government. Although ethical codes are the foundation of an organization it is hard to enforce them. For example, the Philippine government has code of ethics that are not enforced because the government does not have enough power to enforce them (Gilman, 2005).

By using ethical standards the government can create a norm for handling human rights. Although Orthodox and Progressivists have their own idea of what is moral it is very likely that their morality standards will lead to the same conclusion, however, they may not take the same pathway to get there. In having the necessary morals and values individuals subconsciously believe in basic rights and freedom. If there are differences in individual’s beliefs and it does not lead to doing what is best for the public then the government is forced to enforce the code of ethics.


Gilman, S.C. (2005). Ethics codes and codes of conduct as tools for promoting an ethical and professional public service: Comparative successes and lessons. 

Retrieved from: http://www.oecd.org/mena/governance/35521418.pdf

Lene, A.J. (1997). Different worldviews, different morals: America’s culture war divide. Human Development, 40(6), 325-344. Retrieved from: https://search-proquest-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/docview/224021629/fulltextPDF/81DF1DAB788B4AC2PQ/1?accountid=14872

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