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The Ethics of Public Administration

The Challenges of Global Governance

Sara R. Jordan and Phillip W. Gray

Publication Year: 2011

Managing the challenges of governance is more than merely managing people and resources; it is about managing the values that intersecting cultures attach to people and resources. The Ethics of Public Administration: The Challenges of Global Governance provides an exploratory introduction to the history and trends of major ethical cultures around the globe. Featuring chapters that explore national and ideological forms of ethics—including those of India, Russia, and Africa as well as Marxism, Leninism, Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—The Ethics of Public Administration is an indispensable guide for all those working in international affairs and government.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Table of Contents

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pp. viii-ix

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pp. x-xi

This project began at the frustrated behest of the many master’s and undergraduate students enrolled in the course “Ethics in Public Affairs” in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Hong Kong. To these students, we owe a debt of thanks for their patience with our ignorance and the inevitable foibles as we each tried...

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1 Public Administration Ethics through Time and Place

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pp. 3-18

This book began with a sense of frustration. Like so many professionals today, we (the authors) found ourselves standing in front of a classroom of students from a distinctly different culture and thinking “we are just not communicating here!” Confronted with the problem of being American professors teaching ethics...

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2 The Five E’s of Orthodox Public Administration

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pp. 19-46

Analyzing the ethics of public administration means more than probing an individual’s moral values (Rest 1986; Swisher, Rizzo, and Marley 2005; Wittimer 2005) or the “regime values” (Rohr 1986, 1989) that public servants rely upon in their daily decision-making tasks. To analyze ethics in public administration practice means to understand what moral concepts and moral questions signify...

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3 Ethical Traditions of India

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pp. 49-81

Although long regarded as “religious,” “mythological,” or “mystical,” this perception of Indian philosophy is mistaken. There is a rich history of philosophy qua philosophy in India. This tradition, as we will elaborate here, contains some of the earliest, most poetic, and most decidedly universal insistences on moral conduct, knowledge, reality, and human nature. If by philosophy...

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4 Ethical Traditions of Daoism

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pp. 83-105

Daoism,1 a strain of Chinese philosophy representative of naturalistic and quietist thought, is a dominant, yet dormant, tradition in modern China. As Chan makes clear, the strains of Daoism advocated by Lǎo zǐ 2 and later Zhuāng zǐ 3 are significant for the modern-day tradition of political and social thought in...

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5 Ethics in the Buddhist Traditions

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pp. 107-136

Scholars of ethics around the world are paying an increasing level of attention to the ethics of Buddhism. With interesting parallels to Christian ethics (Ratzinger 2004), an expansive view of humanity (Keown 2000; Perera quoted in Keown 2000), a practical, virtue based approach to ethics and the good life (Keown 1992; Whitehill 2000), investment in engagement (Eppsteiner 1988), and an aesthetically...

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6 Traditions of Confucian Ethics

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pp. 137-162

First, a few caveats: Kǒng fū zǐ (Confucius1)2 is a thinker whose legacy has been both used and abused in attempts to situate and legitimate various philosophical and ideological strains, within China, the remainder of East Asia, and the global “West” (Jensen 1997). Though we will speak of the tradition of Confucian thought in this chapter, we self-consciously attempt to avoid reification of Kǒng ...

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7 Ethics in the Judaic Tradition

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pp. 163-174

Judaism is among the oldest monotheistic traditions in the world and one that has been most concerned with the importance of political community to the tradition itself. As a result of dynamics within Judaism itself, as well as the diverse responses by the Jewish community to the loss of its state and its time in exile, Judaism has long concerned itself with the relation of the community to the...

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8 Ethics in the Constitutionalist and Republican Traditions

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pp. 175-194

Constitutionalism, as an explicitly thought-out tradition of ethics, is comparatively new, although various thinkers have written in a constitutionalist style since at least the Renaissance. This ethical tradition presents an interesting perspective, as it is not primarily concerned with “pure” or universalistic ethics. Rather, constitutionalism takes as its starting point for civil service ethics the...

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9 Ethics in the Christian Tradition

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pp. 195-216

Perhaps one of the most difficult traditions to assess is one that is most familiar to so many in the West: the Christian tradition. Indeed, one cannot understand fully Western history without some knowledge of the Christian theological and ecclesiological controversies that span over 1900 years.1 The tradition is one of constant contestation—even though the main categories of Christians...

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10 Ethics in the Traditions of Islam

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pp. 217-247

Stoked by the exaggeration of the “clash of civilizations” hypothesis, 1 on the one hand, and fueled by a desire to reverse the past of “orientalism,” 2 the study of Islam has reemerged as a major force in the study of sociology, religion, economics, and politics in the past decade. Historically, there were significant interconnections between the study of philosophy, cultures, and...

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11 Ethics in the Traditions of Africa

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pp. 249-274

In a number of books on ethics, philosophy, politics, and civil service surveyed for this book, there is a notable lack of attention paid to Africa and African issues. This is due, we (charitably) surmise, to the complexity associated with treating fairly the history, demography, and philosophical and ethical variation on the...

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12 Ethics in the Liberal Tradition

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pp. 275-294

Within political theory in general and public administration specifically, liberalism holds pride of place. Indeed, the origins, and continuing discussions, of public administration occur within the broad school of liberal thought. Yet, like most traditions discussed in this work, liberalism is a broad tradition, with various strands in conflict with others. Especially when we consider...

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13 Marxist–Leninist Ethical Traditions

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pp. 295-320

At the height of its strength, communism in one form or another ruled over a commanding portion of the world’s population. While most of these governments have either fallen (such as the Soviet Union) or downplayed their Marxist principles (such as the People’s Republic of China [PRC]), the importance of the communist political ideology—Marxism–Leninism...

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14 Ethics in the Russian Tradition

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pp. 321-342

Compared to the traditions surveyed in this book, the tradition of Russian ethics is dissimilar to both the philosophical/theological traditions on the one hand and the regional traditions (such as the African tradition) on the other. Unlike the philosophical/religious traditions, Russian thought is not typified by any strictly unified set of ideals, doctrines, or methods, but instead...

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15 Revisiting the “Global” in the Challenges of Global Governance

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pp. 345-353

In a book where we attempt to summarize the world, how can we meaningfully conclude the journey? One place to start is by revisiting the emotion that began the whole project for the authors and is likely a sentiment shared by the readers. To end this work, we will revisit the idea of frustration with intercultural...


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pp. 355-358


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pp. 359-382


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pp. 383-407


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pp. 409-416

E-ISBN-13: 9781602584723
E-ISBN-10: 1602584729
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582484
Print-ISBN-10: 1602582483

Page Count: 450
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1st