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Download In Defense of Politics in Public Administration: A Value by Michael W. Spicer PDF

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By Michael W. Spicer

Students of public management have traditionally too usually been disdainful in the direction of politics within the box, viewing political actions and pursuits as possibilities for corruption, mismanagement, and skewed priorities. Supporters of this anti-political stance became much more strident lately, lots of them advancing clinical versions for the examine and perform of public management and governance. Michael Spicer argues that politics merits to be defended as an important side of public management because it might probably advertise ethical behavior in executive and in public management, mostly by way of bringing to the foreground the position of values in administrative perform. Politics can facilitate the answer of conflicts that clearly come up from competing values, or conceptions of the great, whereas minimizing using strength or violence. Drawing at the writings of Isaiah Berlin, Bernard Crick, and Stuart Hampshire, In safety of Politics in Public management argues that worth clash is an essential component of our ethical event, either in making our personal ethical offerings and in facing these whose values clash with our personal. This booklet is a lively assertion of ideas and a well timed contribution to a discussion that's redefining public management, either in thought and in perform.

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Introduction / 15 ing about the harm done by Adolf Hitler, for instance, “the very use of normal language cannot avoid conveying what the author regards as commonplace or monstrous, decisive or trivial, exhilarating or depressing. In describing what occurred, I can say that so many million men were brutally done to death; or alternatively, that they perished; laid down their lives; were massacred; or simply, that the population of Europe was reduced, or that its average age was lowered; or that many men lost their lives.

A classic example of incommensurability among values that is often pointed to is the incommensurability that exists between money and friendship (Raz 1986; Lukes 1989; Gray 2000). We all know that, in the course of our lives, there are instances where we may sacrifice money for friendship or vice versa, as when, for example, we are faced with a choice between either spending time at a job assignment or spending time with friends. However, while we often make such choices, the fact is that most of us would never consider paying other people money in return for their friendship or, for that matter, consider accepting money from them in return for our friendship.

Furthermore, not only are many of the values pursued by public officials incompatible with one another, it turns out that they are also often incommensurable with one another. William Galston acknowledges this fact in reflecting on his professional experience while working as a White House domestic policy advisor under President Clinton. He recalls how “over and over again I had the same experience: I would be chairing an interagency task force designed to reach a unified administration position on some legislative or regulatory proposal.

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