Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Shift in Values

pg. 12: Expand the constituency for international cooperation by cultivating a shift in values within societies and professions grounded in a deeper appreciation of the implications of global interdependence for the achievement of their objectives 

Readers' Guide Comment on “shift in values within societies” and “their objectives”

As a practical matter, Step Five is undermined by these two quite ambiguous concepts.

The phrase, "a shift in values," presumes that there is clarity about which are the ‘new’ values and which are the ‘old’. The text provides none. In other sections of Everybody’s Business, the ‘old’ values are identified as those that are state-centric, but, taken in this context as the next step to a better world, that identification is not particularly insightful.

The report does include a comparatively lengthy explanation of the ‘new’ values: these are the values "grounded in a deeper appreciation of the implications of global interdependence for the achievement of their [societies and professions] objectives." Again, the key phrases in this moral exhortation are quite ambiguous. To what does the phrase "their objectives" refer?  Does it refer to the ‘constituency for international cooperation,’ a particular society, a specific profession, and/or some undefined moral community? And what does ‘deeper appreciation’ mean? Does it refer to the results of a particular study, a religious recognition, or an enhanced cultural, esthetic understanding?

Without clear references for these two items, Step Five cannot provide the basis for any practical steps forward.

Related Ideas: Step Five; aligning values and governance; experts by constituency; gaining acceptance

The Readers' Guide welcomes comments with alternative examples or counter examples, supplemental assessments of the extracted GRI text or commentary – critical or otherwise – of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective.

 

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