The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania will become formally affiliated with the University’s Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), moving from Penn Law, the centers announced on June 24. The decision, effective July 1, 2021, was fueled by the centers’ desire to join forces and have a greater impact in promoting and strengthening the rule of law in democratic governance.“This is a significant development in academia’s efforts to protect and preserve the rule of law, and CERL is honored to be officially affiliated with APPC,” said Claire Finkelstein, CERL’s founder and academic director and the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and professor of philosophy at Penn Law. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Kathleen Hall Jamieson and the APPC team on vital projects that will help maintain and strengthen our democracy’s ideals and institutions.”
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director and founder of APPC and the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication in Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, is equally delighted that the two centers are combining their complementary expertise and talents. “CERL and APPC have been allies in bringing attention to the erosion of the country’s democratic norms and laws,” she said. “CERL’s national security expertise and APPC’s work in policy making and communication scholarship are a natural fit for advancing the rule of law among policy makers, academia, and the public.”
Dr. Finkelstein will remain a full-time member of the Penn Law faculty.
In March 2020, the two centers announced an alliance; they then collaborated on an October 2020 conference on climate security communications and an April 2021 conference on escalation of nuclear threat communications. Post-July 1 projects will focus on the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention center, U.S. violent extremism, and civic education in the military.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center was established in 1993 to educate the public and policymakers about communication’s role in advancing public understanding of political, health, and science issues at the local, state, and federal levels. The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law is a nonpartisan interdisciplinary center dedicated to preserving and promoting the rule of law in national security, warfare, and U.S. governance. Founded in 2012, CERL draws from the study of law, philosophy, and ethics to educate and guide policymakers, academia, the private sector, and the general public.