Public Integrity

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-10-30
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr

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In this groundbreaking book, J. Patrick Dobel describes and analyzes the elements that constitute integrity in public office. Drawing on case studies, memoirs, interviews, and fiction (e.g., John Le Carré), Dobel addresses such issues as when to resign and when to stay in office. He examines the temptations of power, the relation between private and public life, and the role of honor and prudence in making personal decisions. He applies not only moral theory but also the insights of history, organizational theory, and psychology. Unlike most political ethics books, Public Integrity puts personal responsibility at the center of public morality, examining not just the responsibilities of office but also the role of personal moral commitments and promises. This timely book reminds us of the importance of public integrity as well as the demands and challenges that often threaten that integrity, especially in a liberal democracy such as the United States.

Author Biography

J. Patrick Dobel is a professor of public affairs, adjunct professor of political science, and associate dean in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. He is the author of Compromise and Political Action: Political Morality in Liberal and Democratic Life.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Integrity in Officep. 1
The Temptations of Powerp. 23
The Moral Realities of Public Lifep. 48
Character and Moral Attritionp. 68
Staying In: The Ethics of Commitment in Officep. 93
Getting Out: The Ethics of Resigning from Officep. 109
The Political Morality of Sleaze and Honorp. 130
Building the Common amid Differencesp. 147
Saints, Sinners, and Politicians: How Private Lives Matterp. 170
Political Prudencep. 193
Epiloguep. 212
Notesp. 223
Indexp. 253
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