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The Ethics of Governing

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Anthony Orlando

Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.

In this episode, we find sagacity and even humor in the hard work of ethical governing with Lisa Schweitzer.

Prof. Schweitzer is an associate professor of urban planning in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. She teaches classes in city life and structure, justice in public policy, and public transit. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She blogs regularly, provocatively, and wittily at

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Related Reading

“Being Ignorant of History and Government, and Treating Your Political Party Like Your Local Football Team” by Lisa Schweitzer
“What Is the Post-Measure S Agenda for Inclusion Among LA Urbanists?” by Lisa Schweitzer
“Yes, I Give Trigger Warnings and Encourage Safe Spaces, and Anybody Who Has a Problem with That Can Kiss My Butt” by Lisa Schweitzer
“Planners Learning and Creative Power: A Community of Practice Approach” by Lisa A. Schweitzer, Eric J. Howard, and Ian Doran
“Environmental Injustice and Transportation: The Claims and the Evidence” by Lisa Schweitzer and Abel Valenzuela


Our American Discourse is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself; and mixed by Corey Hedden.

Bedrosian Center