CBE Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Jon Taylor
Dr. Jon Taylor is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science. In addition to his teaching and research in political science and public administration, he is an international lecturer and expert on comparing and contrasting China's public ethics to American public ethics.
Could you please share with us the role ethics plays in your teaching and research?
As for the role of teaching/research/service in Political Science, and, more specifically, Public Administration, I would say that all three are central to my discipline -- as they are in all academic disciplines. That said, it is the implicit mission of both Political Science and Public Administration to support discipline-specific education and the professional development of its practitioners. Ethics is a basic component of that professional development. Like all other disciplines, teaching is a vital component of our discipline, hence Political Science/Public Administration's emphasis on generating a greater understanding of cutting-edge approaches, techniques, and methodologies that can be effectively applied in the classroom. In addition, research -- be it theoretical or applied on the part of both faculty and students -- provides a robust skills-set that students can and have applied in a wide range of career areas: public service, law, business, international organizations, nonprofit associations, organizations to campaign management, polling, journalism, pre-collegiate education, electoral politics, research and university and college teaching. We have graduates from our B.A. and MLA-Political Science and MLA-Public Administration who, coincidentally, are in all of these career areas.
What classes do you teach that include ethics?
I teach POSC 3373 Public Administration Ethics about every year or so. In addition, both J.P. Faletta and I incorporate an ethics component into POSC 3300 Research Methods and POSC 3301 Statistics for Political Science. There is an ethics component in a number of my Public Administration courses: POSC 3338 Internet and Politics, POSC 3354 Emergency Management, POSC 3357 Public Policy Analysis, POSC 3371 Public Administration, POSC 3372 Public Personnel Administration, and POSC 3376 Public Budgeting and Finance. In this respect, it is a happy coincidence that both UST and the American Society for Public Administration both strongly encourage ethics teaching, research, and service. This emphasis on ethics has had a spillover effect in the Department of Political Science, where an ethics component exists in a number of courses: Public Opinion, Political Theory, Administrative Law, Mock Trial and Senior Thesis.
The following is a compilation of book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers directly related to ethics or discuss at length ethical issues in Political Science or Public Administration:
- Chapter 8: “Choices for Chinese Political Science: Methodological Positivism or Methodological Pluralism?” In Political Science and Chinese Political Studies: The State of the Field, Sujian Guo, Editor (2013). New York: Palgrave MacMillan (originally published in the Journal of Chinese Political Science. Volume 14, Number 4 (December 2009): 357‐367).
Chapter 14: “Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom, Let One Hundred Thoughts Contend: Political Science with Chinese Characteristics.” In Political Science and Chinese Political Studies: The State of the Field, Sujian Guo, Editor (2013). New York: Palgrave MacMillan (originally published in the Journal of Chinese Political Science. Volume 16, Number 3 (June 2011): 323‐333).
- "Assessing the impact of Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” on the CPC’s Anti-Corruption Efforts." To be presented at the Conference on "The China Dream", December 2013, Fudan Institute for Advanced Study in Social Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
- "Practice is the Sole Criterion for Testing Truth: Assessing the CPC’s Current Efforts at Building Public Sector Ethics.” To be presented at the Conference on "The China Dream", December 2013, Fudan Institute for Advanced Study in Social Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
- “Curbing Corruption Through Pragmatic Confucianism and the Red Culture Campaign: Reform, Public Administration, and the Chinese Party‐State.” Collected Papers of the 7th International Conference on Public Administration (2011). Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China: School of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
- "Serve the People: CPC Anti‐Corruption Efforts in the Xi Jinping Era and Prospects for Party Reform and Renewal." Submitted to the Chinese Social Sciences Quarterly for publication.
- “Local Web 2.0: Blogging, Social Networking, and Citizen Access.” (with Michelle Carnahan). Presented at the 2011 Southwestern Social Science Association Annual Meeting, March 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada.
- “Local Web 2.0: Blogging, Social Networking, and Citizen Access in Houston City Government.” (with Michelle Carnahan). Presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Public Administration, March 2009, Miami, Florida.
- “Building a Harmonious Society through Confucianist Ethics: Assessing the Impact on Public Administration.” Presented at the Hangzhou (Liangzhu) Forum on Governance and Social Responsibility: Making Differences, Seeking Innovations, and Providing Contributions, November 2008, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China.
- Papers in preparation for conferences:
- “Heaven is High and the Emperor is Far Away: Ethical Competencies in Chinese Local Government Management.”
- “Party‐State Ethics Management and Democratic Development: The Case of Public Administration in China.”
- “The Harmonious Society, Confucian Ethics, and Anti‐Corruption Efforts in China Assessing the Impact on the Public Sector.”
- Invited Lectures on ethics:
- “Mao Zedong Thought, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Future of Public Administration in China.” School of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China, October 2011.
- “Harmonious Socialist Society, Confucian Ethics, and CPC Anti-Corruption Efforts: Assessing the Impact on Chinese Public Administration.” School of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China, October 2009 (I also gave the same lecture at Nankai University in Tianjin while I was in China in October of 2009).
- “Assessing the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection's Anti-Corruption Efforts: Impacts on Chinese Public Administration.” Zhejiang Provincial Party School Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China, October 2008.
Service and ethics: For over a decade I have regularly given public administration ethics presentations in Houston to Chinese local government, provincial government, and State-Owned Enterprise officials. I also have given presentations in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin, and Beijing during the past seven years. I gave an invited lecture to the Zhejiang Province Communist Party School in 2008. I'm a member of the American Society for Public Administration's Section on Public Administration Ethics. Additionally, I sat on UST's Human Subjects Committee from 1999 - 2003.
Please share with us the source of your interest in China.
While most may find China unfathomable, unappealing, or even a bit scary, I find it fascinating, hence why I devote much of my current research to the study of ethics and corruption in China and the Communist Party of China. I currently have three conference papers in preparation, a paper submitted for journal review, and two conference papers to be presented in Shanghai in December that are all devoted to some aspect of anti-corruption efforts and ethics in China. One might ask: why not research American public ethics? The answer is quite simple: I enjoy using the U.S. as a comparison since the U.S. is an ethics leader. My China ethics discussions, lectures, and research don't exist in a vacuum. They directly compare and contrast China's public ethics to American public ethics, with all of our foibles and successes.