Wayne John Norman

Wayne John Norman

Mike and Ruth Mackowski Distinguished Professor of Ethics in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

Contact Information
201 West Duke Building, Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-3190


Professor Norman (Ph.D. London School of Economics, 1988) is the Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics in Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. He previously held Chairs in Business Ethics at the Université de Montréal and the University of British Columbia, and before that taught at the University of Ottawa and the University of Western Ontario. He has held visiting appointments in eight countries and been published in 10 languages. He has taught mainly in philosophy departments, but also in two MBA programs, and a political science department.

Norman plays blues guitar and sings in a band called Mona Lisa's Highway Blues, which won “Most Original Performance” at the 2015 Triangle Battle of the Bands charity event, and in Yoga Imposters. He is working on a collection of "Ivory Tower Rocks" songs about philosophical arguments, like this one on the Trolley Problem.

Professor Norman is a cat person.


Most of Norman's recent research falls under two broad headings:

BUSINESS ETHICS. He has looked critically at a number of frameworks for identifying and justifying beyond-compliance obligations (e.g. CSR, corporate citizenship, sustainability, triple bottom line, stakeholder theory...). His working hypothesis is that beyond-compliance obligations can be justified in large part by using the same concepts and methods we use in justifying particular regulations. ("Business ethics as self-regulation.") His most recent research looks at the ways theories of justice and democracy require an account of political economy that takes corporations, corporate law, and regulation seriously -- and on the near-complete neglect of these issues in the post-Rawlsian tradition of political philosophy.

He is currently writing a short textbook with the working title Nuts & Bolts for the Business Ethicist

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. He has published extensively on nationalism, citizenship, constitutionalism, federalism, secession, and multiculturalism. His most recent research concerns the design and justification of the administrative agencies responsible for most law-making (especially concerning the regulation of business) in a modern state -- and in particular, it asks whether contemporary democratic theory is of much use for helping us to address these institutional and normative issues.

He is also working on a book tentatively entitled, The Ethical Adversary: Can You Play Fair When You're Playing to Win? It's about the design and justification of "deliberately adversarial institutions" (such as markets, law, democratic politics, sports, etc) that structure highly regulated competitions as the most efficient and/or just ways of advancing the interests of those both within and without the competitions themselves.

Selected Recent Publications (5 books, 80+ articles; 8 articles have been re-published in other journals or books, in English or in translation, at least 27 times):



(Many of these publications, and others, can be downloaded directly from Wayne Norman's academia.edu page. See also Norman's Google Scholar page.)

  • W. Norman, "Rawls on Markets and Corporate Governance," Business Ethics Quarterly 25, 2016, pp 29-64.
  • W. Norman, “When is a Sport Not a Sport?” in Kim Flachmann, ed., Prose Reader, New York: Pearson Publishing, in press.
  • J. Heath and W. Norman, “Stakeholder Theory, Corporate Governance and Public Management: what can the history of state-run enterprises teach us in the post-Enron era?,” in J. Heath, Ethics, Competition, and the Firm, Oxford University Press, 2014 (Reprinted from Heath & Norman 2004).
  • W. Kymlicka & W. Norman, “Citizenship in Culturally Diverse Societies: Issues, Contexts, Concept,” in Richard Bellamy and Madeleine Kennedy-Macfoy, eds, Citizenship, v. II, part 5, New York: Routledge, 2014, 41pp. (Reprinted from Kymlicka & Norman 2000).
  • W. Norman, "Is there a 'Point' to Markets? A Response to Martin," Business Ethics Journal Review 2(4), 2014, 22-28.
  • W. Norman & Pierre-Yves Néron, “Mondialisation économique et éthique des affaires,”R. Chung and J.B. Jeangène Vilmer (eds), Éthique des relations internationales, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2013, 329-51.
  • W. Norman, “Business Ethics,” in the 10-volume International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Hugh LaFollette, editor-in-chief), New York-Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2013, pp. 652-668 (the longest-format article in the Encyclopedia).
  • W. Norman, “Stakeholder Theory,” in the International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Hugh LaFollette, editor-in-chief), New York-Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2013, pp. 5002-11.
  • W. Norman, “Whither Business Ethics,” Ethics Forum, 7/3, 2012, 31-40.
  • W. Norman, “Business Ethics as Self-Regulation: Why principles that ground regulations should be used to ground beyond-compliance norms as well,” Journal of Business Ethics, v. 102, supp. 1, 2011, pp. 43-57.
  • J. Heath, J. Moriarty, W. Norman, “Business Ethics and (or as) Political Philosophy,” Business Ethics Quarterly, 2010.
  • W. Norman, "The Financial Theory of the Firm," in J. Boatright, ed, Companion to Ethics in Finance, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
  • W. Norman, "From Quid Pro Quo to Modus Vivendi: can legalizing secession strengthen the multinational federation?" in F. Requejo and M. Caminal, eds, Political liberalism and Multinational Democracies, London: Routledge, 2010.
  • C. MacDonald & W. Norman, “Conflicts of Interest and Professional Ethics,” in G. Brenkert & T. Beauchamp, eds, Oxford Handbook in Business Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 441-470.
  • W. Norman, P. Bélanger, and C. Roux, “Recognizing Business Ethics,” Journal of Business Ethics 86/3, 2009, 257-271.
  • Pierre-Yves Néron and W. Norman, "Corporations as Citizens: Political not Metaphorical, A Reply to Critics," Business Ethics Quarterly, January 2008.
  • Pierre-Yves Néron and W. Norman, "Citizenship Inc.: Do we really want businesses to be good corporate citizens?," Business Ethics Quarterly, January 2008.
  • J. Heath and W. Norman, "Stakeholder Theory, Corporate Governance and Public Management: what can the history of state-run enterprises teach us in the post-Enron era?," Journal of Business Ethics 53, 2004: 247-265.
  • W. Norman and C. MacDonald, "Getting to the Bottom of Triple Bottom Line," Business Ethics Quarterly 14/2, 2003: 243-262.


  • Why Would Anybody Voluntarily Study Business Ethics?, Bentley University, March 30, 2017.
  • How to be an Ethical Adversary Without Tying One Hand Behind Your Back, Bentley University, March 29, 2017.
  • Business Ethics, Democratic Theory, and the Regulatory State, presented to the conference on Normative Ethics and Welfare Economics, Harvard Business School, Cambridge MA, October 22, 2016.
  • Myths, Economics, and the ‘Real World’ in Nationalist Politics, presented to the conference on Integrated Society: The Experience of Latvia and Canada, Riga Stradiņš University, Latvia, October 18, 2016.
  • What Can Philosophers Tells us about the Nature and Ethics of Nationalism? Keynote address at the conference on The Ethics and Politics of Nationalism, Latvian Academy of Sciences, Riga, Latvia, October 17, 2016.
  • Éthique + Finance ? Keynote address (“Conférencier d’honneur”) to the Réseau transnational de droit bancaire et financier, Montreal, Canada.
  • "Democratic Theory and the Regulatory State: why it’s time to end the benign neglect, and how to begin to do so" (with Aaron Ancell), to the joint congress of the ASSP/NJLP, Universiteit van Amsterdam, June 2015; to the Society of Business Ethics, Vancouver, Canada, August 2015; and to the Rethinking Regulation group, Duke University, September 2015.
  • "Celebrating Business Ethics Quarterly’s 25th Anniversary: Trends & Prospects in Business Ethics Research," as one of 4 panelists for the Opening Plenary Session at the annual meetings of the Society for Business Ethics, Vancouver BC, August 2015.
  • "Is there Really a Place for Business Firms and Competitive Markets in a ‘Realistically Utopian’ Liberal Theory?" to the University of Arizona Law School, Tucson AZ, March 2015.
  • "From Quid Pro Quo to Modus Vivendi: can legalizing secession strengthen plurinational federations?" to the Conference on Popular Sovereignty, University of Texas Law School, Austin TX, January 2015.
  • "Merriment and Diversion when Market and Forum Meet," to the MANCEPT political theory conference, University of Manchester, September 2015, to the McGill University Law School, Montreal, October 2014; and to the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 2014.
  • "Political Philosophy and Corporate Governance," to the Groupe de recherche sur la démocratie interne, Chaire Hoover d'éthique économique et sociale, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, December 2013.
  • "Justifying Options for Federal Design," to the Lovanium Seminar in Ethics and Public Policy, U.K.L. Leuven, Belgium, December 2013.
  • "Justice, Democracy, Nation-building: is it possible to be an ethical nationalist?," University of Copenhagen, October 2013.
  • "The Governing of Business and the Business of Government," at the 9th Bentley Global Business Ethics Symposium, Bentley College, Boston, May 2013.
  • "The Implicit Morality of the Market," at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, April 2013.
  • "Whither Business Ethics?" to the Transatlantic Doctoral Academy, Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, February 2013.
  • "Crony Capitalism meets Citizens United," to the symposium on "The Ethics of Bailouts and Government Support of Corporations: Public Benefit or Crony Capitalism?" at the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, Washington, DC,  November 2012

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of London (UK) 1988