between ethics and leadership must be enhanced. Only virtuous, brave leaders at all levels of commerce and business, finance and banking, government and politics can respond effectively to the threats to the environment, international financial stability, and the wellbeing of humanity (Levine and Boaks, 2014).
While much work has been done in the field of business ethics to clarify the new role of corporations in the age of globalization as corporate citizens (Matten and Crane, 2005; Moon, Crane, and Matten, 2005), or as political actors (Scherer and Palazzo, 2006; Scherer, Palazzo and Baumann, 2006), less attention has been paid to the ethical assessment of the capitalist system itself. Capitalism is seen, on the one hand, as the best way to solve economic problems, on the other, it depends on fair play and the honesty of the market partners as a precondition for the good functioning of the system. In a similar vein, the question of how political and business leaders influence the morality of the capitalist system has gone almost unnoticed in this discussion. Questions about ‘ethical leadership’, if mentioned at all, are discussed in the business context and, in most cases, are narrowed down to a discussion on integrity and upright business conduct (Maak, 2007; Ciulla, 1995). The aim of this special issue is, therefore, to broaden the perspective and to discuss the moral legitimacy of capitalism and the morality of the various actors in the capitalist system from different angles.
The journal invites innovative, relevant, high-quality articles that address historical and present socio-economic questions, as well as current issues that link the theme of ‘ethics and capitalism’ with urgent global concerns regarding the environment, medical pandemics including Coronavirus (COVID-19), corporate social responsibility, justice, rights, and care for all the world’s citizens, in particular, the poor. To discuss these questions, we invite papers that critically examine theoretical aspects as well as practical outcomes of the capitalist system.
Possible themes include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Crisis of Capitalism in the Twenty-first Century:
o Capitalism as Economic Theory and as Political Ideology
o Capitalism and the declining Role of Governments
o Anti-Capitalist Theories and the Critique of the Capitalist System