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Foundations of Bureaucratic Ethics

Foundationsof Bureaucratic Ethics

Contemporarypolicy debates revolve around interpretations of how a democratic nation is tobe governed. The ongoing controversy over the meaning of the Second Amendmentto the United States Constitution is an example of a modern-day issue rooted inearly democratic principles. Given the nature of gun violence in the UnitedStates, the right to bear arms is a heated policy issue that warrants in-depthreflection of what was intended for this fundamental right. Part of themodern-day argument centers on whether government intervention in the form ofgun control is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Debates about theproper role of government are as old as the government itself. The very factthat there still is concern about what was intended is an indication thatfounding periods in government are viewed as normative events, that is, eventsthat established or instituted democratic standards or became the basis fordemocracy as we interpret it.

Inprevious weeks, you have analyzed democratic concepts, democratic principles,and democratic processes. Now you are asked to think more concretely aboutthose issues by assessing whether democratic governance constitutes the veryfoundation of bureaucratic ethics. Those working in government are required toadhere to a professional code of ethics. American public servants take an oathupon appointment or election to uphold the principles of the Constitution aspart of their professional duties. For example, a public servant should supportthe ideas of separation of powers and rule of law, which are basic tenets ofAmerican democratic government. The question remains, however, whether takingaction that advances the cause of democratic governance is a legitimate way toassess ethical behavior.

Toprepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the article “Public Management as Ethics” inthis week’s Learning Resources. Focus on the considerations of a valueschecklist as an aid in developing ethical public servants. Also, focus onthe values checklist as it applies to the practice of public management.
  • Review the article “Ethics and ComparativeAdministration” in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about the ethicalobligations of public administrators as public servants.
  • Consider the argument that democratic governance is thefoundation of bureaucratic ethics.
  • Think about whether you agree with this argument.
  • Consider what you believe to be “true” about thefoundation(s) of bureaucratic ethics.

TheAssignment (1–2 pages):

  • Read the “The United Nations of South America” document(located in this week’s Learning Resources). Respond to the questions atthe end of this document.

Supportyour Assignment with specific references to all resources used in itspreparation.

 *** Readings

  • Rohr, J. A.(2007). Ethics and comparative administration. PublicIntegrity, 10(1), 65–74.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

  • Wedel, J. R.,Shore, C., Feldman, G., & Lathrop, S. (2005). Toward an anthropologyof public policy. The ANNALS of the AmericanAcademy of Political and Social Science, 600(1), 30–51.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

  • Dobel, J. P.(2006). Public management as ethics. In TheOxford handbook of public management, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 161–181. Retrievedfrom http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2033462
  • Lempert, R. J.,Popper, S. W., Min, E. Y., & Dewar, J. A. (Eds). (2009). Shaping tomorrow today: Near-term steps towards long-termgoals. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF267.html
  • Document: The United Nations of SouthAmerica (PDF)
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