3rd Edition

Public Service Ethics Individual and Institutional Responsibilities

By James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West Copyright 2022
    434 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    434 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The study and practice of ethics, in all its exemplary and execrable forms, matter now more than ever. It deals with one of the most gripping questions in life: "What is the right thing to do?"

    Public Service Ethics: Individual and Institutional Responsibilities, Third Edition, introduces readers to this personally relevant and professionally challenging field of study. No matter the topic—the necessity of ethics, intriguing human behavior experiments, provocative approaches to decision-making, new theories to understand ethical actions, the role of ethics codes, whistleblowing incidents, corruption exposés, and the grandeur as well as decay of morality—there is no shortage of controversy. This book discusses these issues, explains how they arise, and suggests what can be done about them. The authors make the narrative user-friendly and accessible by highlighting dilemmas, challenging readers to resolve them, and enticing them to go beyond the text to discover and confront new issues. New to this Third Edition:

    • Exploration of fascinating and important new topics such as the Green New Deal, Black Lives Matter, oaths of office, classroom dishonesty, state corruption, the Biden administration, and the ethical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
    • In-depth profiles of newsworthy figures, including Michael Flynn, Alexander Vindman, Anthony Fauci, and John Lewis.
    • All new case studies drawing on actual and hypothetical events to give students an opportunity to apply concepts and analytical frameworks.
    • All new end-of-chapter discussion questions and exercises to encourage students to think more deeply about ethical issues.

    The authors' conversational writing style invites readers to annotate pages with their own ideas, experiences, comparisons, and insights, bolstering students' confidence and ultimately preparing them for the ethical problems they will face in their own careers. This lively and thorough new edition is required reading for all public administration and public policy students.

    Part 1: Foundations of Public Service Ethics. 1. Pertinence, Practicality, and Poppycock. 2. Perspectives on Ethics: Macro, Meso, Micro. 3. Values, Ethics, and Dilemmas. Part 2: Individual-Centred Approaches to Ethics. 4. Moral Development Theory. 5. Cognitive Ethics Methods: Result and Rule Problem-Solving Approaches. 6. Virtue Theory. 7. Conscious Deliberation and Subconscious Action: The Dishonesty of Honest People. Part 3: Institutional Approaches to Ethics. 8. Organizational Ethics. 9. Corruption Control. 10. Whistleblowing in Organizations. Part 4: Issues in Public Service Ethics. 11. Ethics and Elected Officials. 12. Organizational Gaming and Performance Measurement. 13. At-Will Employment. 14. To "Re-Hatch" Public Employees or Not? Part 5: Future History. 15. Choices and Strategies for the Years Ahead.


    James S. Bowman is Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University, USA. 

    Jonathan P. West is Professor of Political Science and Director of the graduate public administration and policy program at the University of Miami, USA.

    "In this new edition of Public Service Ethics, Bowman and West drive home the point that ethical behavior requires much more than following the rules and that ethics belongs at the center of effective and democratic governance. Up-to-date and comprehensive at the individual, organizational, and policy levels, they provide a guidebook for navigating the challenging ethical landscape of contemporary public service that can be used in both the classroom and the workplace."

    Danny L. Balfour, Grand Valley State University, USA

    "In this excellent contribution to the field, Bowman and West’s third edition continues their tradition of sweeping, cutting-edge analysis of public administration ethics. They provide a broad sweep of normative issues, emerging questions confronting the field, and one of the few in-depth treatments of institutional ethics programs."

    Stuart C. Gilman, United Nations Program against Corruption (Retired), USA

    "At a time of immense public challenges, this updated classic masterfully coaches the next generation of public servants in ethics. The authors present balanced and thorough assessments of current ethical issues facing individuals and organizations, as well as creative case studies. This is a first-rate textbook for public affairs courses."

    Rosemary O’Leary, University of Kansas, USA

    "Bowman and West's third edition brings ethics alive and up to date with examples relevant to government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector. Current ethical dilemmas include mask wearing, societal and governmental responses to COVID, economic inequality as an ethical issue, social impact investing, the Green New Deal, and the climate crisis as ethical issues, Black Lives Matter calling attention to the disparate impact on Black men's lives of criminal justice policies, and an update of the horrific Grenfell Tower disaster. Bowman and West remind us that ethics is not for the fainthearted."

    Sharon Mastracci, University of Utah, USA

    "Public Service Ethics: Individual and Institutional Responsibilities is an excellent foundation for the study of public service ethics, providing a clear explanation of the major approaches, useful discussion topics for students, and excellent examples of ethical dilemmas in practical administration. A valuable and comprehensive text and an impressive achievement!"

    Ian Scott, Murdoch University, Australia