Aug 142014
 August 14, 2014

usury-course-400This fall, as part of the Religions and Public Life program at KIE, Luke Bretherton will be leading a seminar course:

Debt, Usury & Citizenship: A Comparative Political Theology

Tuesdays, 2:30-5:00pm

This course will compare the theologies of Judaism, Christianity & Islam in relation to debt and usury, in dialogue with contemporary economic thinking and policy on regulation.  What is the relationship between debt and citizenship? How are campaigns for responsible lending offering opportunities for interfaith activism? The course will be a window onto religious critiques of capitalism but also the co-inherence of the “economic ethics” and political theologies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam with the development of capitalism.

Aug 012014
 August 1, 2014

re1365607_ariely_hiresThe Re/code site details a new iPhone app designed by Timeful, a startup started by Senior Fellow Dan Ariely, and Stanford’s Jacob Bank and Yoav Shoham. The app integrates a user’s current calendars with suggestions for when the best times might be to tackle certain kinds of tasks.

“Our objectives are to take every moment and think about what is the best use of that moment in a holistic framework,” said Ariely. “It’s a non-zero sum game. We think you can use time better.”

Aug 012014
 August 1, 2014

Christine-BaderWriting for the Harvard Business Review, Nonresident Senior Fellow Christine Bader examines the NLRB’s decision that fast food giant McDonald’s could be held jointly liable for labor and wage violations by its franchise operators.

McDonald’s should apply to franchisees a model similar to the one it uses for its suppliers: The company engages in long-term relationships with suppliers to make it clear that they’ll work together on tough issues, not just issue fines; brings suppliers together periodically to learn from each other; and rewards innovation. A combination of internal staff and independent auditors ensures compliance and supports these efforts.

Jul 152014
 July 15, 2014

BrethertonWriting for the Christian Century, KIE Senior Fellow and Religions and Public Life program leader Luke Bretherton argues for a new approach to moral discussions of drug use. When drugs like marijuana become legalized, how does one make the religious argument against its use?

Many Christians assume that smoking or ingesting marijuana is necessarily and in all instances immoral, but at the same time they seem prepared to bow to its inevitable legalization, while muttering about how such a turn of events is one more sign of growing secularization. The counterconclusion I draw from the above analysis is that certain kinds of drug use in certain kinds of contexts may well be morally licit—but that this licit use depends on a set of cultural possibilities unavailable, at least on a large scale, within our consumerist cultural environment.

Jul 152014
 July 15, 2014

richmanWriting for the New England Journal of Medicine, KIE Senior Fellow Barak Richman (Law) co-authored an examination of defined-contribution versus defined-benefit plans and problems with proposed legislation to  change how Medicare is funded and operated.

Despite its appeal, the Wyden–Ryan plan had a fatal flaw: it proposed to base the government’s defined contribution on current Medicare costs and to increase the contribution at an annual rate of 1% above the growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) — a generous contribution, from a public perspective, since it would outpace economic growth. But whereas the GDP has historically grown at a rate of approximately 2.5% annually, Medicare has grown at a rate of 8.2% annually over the past 15 years.

Jul 032014
 July 3, 2014

ICJChristine Lillie, a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience with the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ MADLAB, recently spoke at the Hague on her research connecting the revenge-fueled speeches of Vojislav Seselj, a nationalist Serbian politician, to conditions of mass violence and genocide. Seselj is currently on trial for his actions during the wars in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

For more information on her project and its implications for future trials, see Duke Today’s article. Visit the Moral Attitudes and Decision-Making at KIE site to learn more about all of the MADLAB’s current researchers and projects.

Jul 012014
 July 1, 2014

NTSB_Office-400The Rethinking Regulation Bass Connections project team for “Regulatory Disaster Scene Investigation” traveled in July to Washington, D.C. to interview officials with the National Transportation and Safety Board and the United States Chemical Safety Board.

Along with faculty project leader Lori Bennear, undergraduate student Kate Preston and graduate students David Cheang (Nicholas School), Jonathon Free (History),  Megan Hayes (Nicholas School), and Emily Pechar (Nicholas School) met with the officials to discuss  issues they have been researching, including a comparison of the two boards, an examination of their models in relation to European safety boards, and possible new means of accidental analysis, including the possibility of ad hoc commissions as incidents occur rather than the safety board model.

The students will incorporate the interviews with their research into working papers that look at the complications of risk analysis in addressing crises such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Jun 182014
 June 18, 2014

macdonaldIn an entry for the emtrainBLOG, KIE Nonresident Senior Fellow Chris MacDonald discusses the danger in businesses picking and choosing ethical issues to examine and address without looking at the bigger picture of decision-making. MacDonald is also Director of the Jim Pattison Ethical Leadership Education & Research Program, and Associate Professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management (Toronto, Canada).