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MOOC 7: Ethical Principles for Open Government

Enrollment is Closed

Course Description

Open government needs a democratic culture and public spaces that imply a return to the link between politics and the common. Confronted with neoliberalism, which threatens to weaken public institutions and belittles the civil service that embodies them, if citizens feel orphaned and display a progressive distrust of the institutions that represent them, it is important to reflect on what the priorities should be in order to imagine reforms that provide democracy with mechanisms to defend social rights and control mechanisms against market abuses.

But what to change in a world that changes everything so as not to alter anything? If we believe that institutions are made up of people, they must subvert the situation.

What model of public servant does the democracy of the 21st century need? The academic community insists on technical concepts such as efficiency, privatization, digitalization but forgets what throughout history has been the critical soul of philosophical thought in the political arena; ethics. There is an urgent need for a political pedagogy that insufflates in the people who administer the public ethical principles that vertebrate their action towards good practices and their management towards the common. In this module entitled "Ethical Principles for Open Government" we will stress the need for ethics as a guarantee of the good work of democratic institutions.

How are we going to do it? Deliberating. Participating. Mistaking and inventing. We are going to build a decalogue of ethical principles that will serve as a common scenario for people working in public institutions to feel worthy of their service and regain the trust of the citizenry.

If Pedagogy is the home where politics and ethics are understood, if politics is the art of making decisions that affect others and ethics is the ability to discriminate against the personal interest of the common good, let us reflect together on what principles should guide the people who make up public institutions so that they are guarantors of democracy.

Course Objectives

The aims of this course are:

  • Understand what ethical principles are.
  • Reflect on areas of political impunity.
  • To know cases of good practices in public administrations.
  • Design an ethical decalogue for political application.


  1. Why is ethics necessary for open government? What are ethical standards? How are they set?
    1. Difference between morals and ethics.
  2. The zones of impunity:
    1. The meta-narrative of neoliberalism
    2. The weakened state, orphaned citizenship.
  3. Ethics in public administrations:
    1. Common values in the framework of public administrations.
    2. Ethical training in public administration.
    3. Ethics Pedagogical Communication

To whom it is addressed

The people to whom this course is addressed are:

  • Who hold a public office, both as career professionals and as politicians.
  • Students who want to learn more about Open Government and the principles it contains.


The minimum requirements for taking the course are the technical conditions involved.

  • Computer and Internet connection.

At the time of certifying the course:
The university certification of a course implies a necessary minimum academic formation, namely:

  • Bachelor or equivalent at least.
  • Payment of the corresponding fees.


Mª Lourdes C. González Luis

Mª Lourdes C. González Luis

Mª Lourdes C. González Luis is PhD in Philosophy and Educational Sciences. Professor of History of Pedagogical Thought at the ULL. Founder and Director of the Center for Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies at ULL (CEILAM), Director of the Master's Degree in Advanced Pedagogical and IP Studies of the Erasmus + TOGIVE Project. ). Author of several works, books and magazines on critical pedagogy, complex pedagogical thinking, parity democracy and social justice policies.

Ángela Sierra González

Angela Sierra González

Ángela Sierra González has a PhD in Philosophy and a degree in Law. Professor and Researcher of Political Innovation and Open Government at ULL (CEILAM and Erasmus+ TOGIVE). Author of several books and magazines on gender, parity democracy and violence against women. Founder of the Cultural and Scientific Chair of Critical Hermeneutics of the UNED and ULL. Member of the International Research Collective on the Culture of Peace.

Andrés González Novoa

Andrés González Novoa

Andrés González Novoa is PhD in Education and Professor of Pedagogy. Professor and Researcher of Political Innovation (CEILAM and Erasmus+ TOGIVE) and of Adult Education in Penitentiary Institutions (IFE Cum Laude). He is editorial secretary of Mnemósyne Magazine and a writer with more than thirty publications on literature, pedagogy, theatre, art, education and politics.

Pedro Perera Méndez

Pedro Perera Méndez

Pedro Perera Méndez. PhD in Education and Professor of Pedagogy and different Masters at the ULL. Professor and Researcher of Political Pedagogy, Governance and Citizenship (CEILAM and Erasmus+ TOGIVE). Expert in Collectives at Risk of Social Exclusion. Expert in Planning and Management of Socio-Educational Projects. Author of several works and articles on education and politics.

Mª Belén San Nicolás Santos

Mª Belén San Nicolás Santos

Lecturer in Didactics and Educational Research at the Faculty of Education of the University of La Laguna (Spain). Degree in Pedagogy and PhD in Pedagogy from the University of La Laguna. She has experience as a researcher in various studies on the incorporation of ICT in the educational system and e-learning in the university.

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