Douglas College > Programs & Courses > Faculties > Humanities and Social Sciences > The Institute for Ethics and Global Justice > The Purpose of the Institute
The purpose of the Institute for Ethics and Global Justice (IEGJ) is:
to promote global justice, freedom, peace, sustainability, and
an understanding of ethical action and its importance.
The public positions taken by Directors are those of the individual Directors themselves. It is not the purpose of the Institute (IEGJ) as a whole to take public stances on specific issues.
The Institute engages in research on current social, international, and ethical issues, it analyzes these issues, and communicates about these issues with aspects of the local and world communities in a variety of ways. This includes working with justice-oriented groups, writing essays and scholarly papers, putting on talks and conferences, and disseminating relevant information through the Internet or by other means. The Institute is committed to clarity of thought, to critical assessment of ideas, to honesty in communication, and to actions that have constructive results.
The Institute provides a framework for
---Developing and coordinating the concerns about global ethics and justice in which the Directors are currently professionally engaged; and for extending these concerns to further areas;
---Enhancing an understanding of issues pertaining to global justice and ethical action within the Douglas College community (Students, Faculty, Staff, Administration, and the Community at large); and for encouraging systematic and academic dialogue about these issues; and
---Increasing the involvement of members of the Douglas College community in ethical action that may help to promote global justice.
Justice can be thought of as appropriate treatment, and injustice as inappropriate treatment. What counts as appropriate and inappropriate is, of course, an extremely involved question It cannot be explained here, but the issue will be addressed directly and indirectly over time. Justice and injustice are often focused on the rule of law, but they are also taken more broadly to include adherence to and violation of moral and ethical standards or principles--typically pertaining to fairness, impartiality, universality, equality, etc.
The Institute for Ethics and Global Justice focuses upon global justice issues that are claimed to involve ethically inappropriate treatment of individuals throughout human societies across the planet. And it is concerned with the issues regarding what type of action is the right or ethical way to respond to possible, or to identified, injustices.
Injustices typically result from the influence and control that more powerful individuals and groups have over others. The resulting injustice may be inadvertent or otherwise. At the forefront of global justice issues are the topics of war and terrorism, of genocide, of ethnic, racial and gender conflicts, of the environment, of world hunger, of the sustainability of life on the planet, of the appropriate nature of human economic endeavors, of the equality of human beings (or of sentient beings), of individual freedom, of human rights, and of the operation of human societies in accordance with true democratic principles.