The discussion of the global economy and worldwide expansion of the capitalist and market economic system barely deals with the topic of public goods, although they are of paramount importance precisely in this international setting. Fortunately, the theory of public economics systematically developed the central concept of the public good with its far-reaching implications so that this knowledge can be applied also to global issues. In order to treat these often vaguely discussed issues, a typology of international relations is proposed. These and other considerations prepare the way to ask the question about the implied ethos. Because a common and sustainable ethos for public goods in the global economy is of great relevance and high urgency, both religious and non-religious ethical traditions are called for making their necessary contributions to this foundation.
Georges Enderle is Arthur and Mary O’Neil Professor of International Business Ethics at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and Vice President of the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics (ISBEE). He has authored and edited many books and articles including International Business Ethics: Challenges and Approaches (1999), A Strange Affair? The Emerging Relationship between NGOs and Transnational Companies (1998), Region- and Country-related Reports on Business Ethics (1997), and Lexikon der Wirtschaftsethik (Encyclopedia of Business Ethics, 1993).