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Why Love Matters

Values in Governance

Edited By Scherto Gill and David Cadman

As our current systems of decision-making are increasingly unable to meet the global challenges of climate change, resource depletion, poverty, healthcare, economic instability and global violence, the contributors in this book make a radical proposal for an innovative form of governance that is based on core human values such as love, compassion, care, justice and dignity. Arising from a concern that the «old paradigm» of alienation, consumerism, selfishness and exploitation is damaging for humankind and the family of Earth, the book postulates that a new way of being must be in place so that intrinsic values of caring for others should underpin the intent of our decisions at personal, regional, national, international and global levels. With illustrative references and examples in fields of politics, economy, health and peace, the content of this book argues forcefully that Love, with a capital L, matters in governance, where values can serve as the basis to transform human consciousness about international institutions, community relationships and individual actions. Why Love Matters provides an important introductory text to students of global governance, management studies, political economics, international relations and peace studies, and equally offers illuminating and instructive ideas to leaders, managers and practitioners who are interested in what values-based governance means and looks like and how to go about it in practice.


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This collection of essays was inspired by the Spirit of Humanity (SoH) 2014 Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland, which met under the title of ‘Love and Compas- sion in Governance’. When this title was chosen, there was some suggestion that the word “Love” should be omitted, as it was thought it would be un- likely to attract participants, particularly those from the world of politics and business. Nevertheless, the word was kept and the Forum turned out to be of enormous energy and impact, reflecting the love and care that all of those who attended were bringing to their work, including those in politics and the business world. Since that time, the SoH Forum has become more convinced that it was right to speak of Love, for as these essays have shown a shift in consciousness is underway, and its form is such that it can only be understood in the lan- guage of connection, relationship and mutuality—the language of Love. It is thus reassuring to hear from those who have studied the behaviour of humankind that we are, in truth, Homo sapiens-amans, in other words, ‘loving animals’ and that our concern for the well-being of others, including other people, species and the eco-system, arises naturally from our living in the ‘biology of love’ because ‘love is our natural manner of being’ and that love can only be cultivated by living it (Romesin, Verden-Zöller, 2008). As the book has illustrated, these matters of Love are not so easy to...

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