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2022 Elizabeth D. Rockwell Prize for Best Article on Ethics, Leadership and Public Policy

The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership at the Hobby School of Public Affairs is pleased to announce the winner and first runner-up of the 2022 Elizabeth D. Rockwell Prize for Best Article on Ethics, Leadership and Public Policy. All articles published three years preceding the award date are eligible for the prize.


Chiara Cordelli and Jonathan Levy, “The Ethics of Global Capital Mobility,” American Political Science Review, 116, 2 (May 2022): 439-452.

Cordelli and Levy’s article explores the under-examined question of the ethics of global capital mobility. Today trillions of dollars cross borders at digital speeds with few restrictions. Cordelli and Levy ask whether there should be any strong moral presumption in favor of free capital movement as a basic liberty or individual right. They answer ‘no’ - that there is no general basic liberty to free cross-border capital mobility – and that it should, in fact, be considered permissible only in some specific cases, none of which supports short-term financial speculation or even most long-term cross-border investments. Most cross-border capital transactions can therefore be permissibly restricted, on their account, particularly where they are not beneficial to the least advantaged members of societies or do not support the ability of states to maintain adequate institutional capacities. Cordelli and Levy then offer some policy tools for imposing coercive limits on cross-border inflows and outflows of capital, and propose a radical reform of the international monetary system—a new global currency— to limit harmful capital flows while simultaneously facilitating beneficial capital movements.

The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Prize Committee concluded that Cordelli and Levy’s article met and exceeded all the prize criteria: the article is well-written, rigorously argued, original, and ties high theory to practical ethics in a way that can inform real-world ethics and policymaking.

Chiara Cordelli, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, The University of Chicago.

Jonathan Levy, Professor, History and Committee on Social Thought, The University of Chicago.

2022 First Runner-up

Ben Jones, “Police-Generated Killings: The Gap Between Ethics and Law,” Political Research Quarterly, 75, 2 (2021): 366-378.

Jones’s article looks at the important issue of police killings and points to the need for more expansive legal frameworks to ban bad policing tactics and prioritize the protection of life. Jones argues that bad police tactics create situations where deadly force becomes necessary, is perceived as necessary, or occurs unintentionally. Police deserve blame for such killings, Jones maintains, because they choose tactics that unnecessarily raise the risk of deadly force. Since current law in the United States fails to ban many bad tactics, what Jones dubs “police-generated killings” are often treated as tragic but lawful. Jones argues that all such bad tactics, including no-knock raids, rushing to confront a suspect, and others, should be outlawed and that nonlethal tactics should be prioritized in law enforcement.

The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Prize Committee found Jones’s article to provide a compelling ethical argument with practical policy solutions for addressing an important public problem.

Ben Jones, Associate Research Professor and Assistant Director of the Rock Ethics Institute, The Pennsylvania State University.