1st Edition

The Death of Public Integrity

By Robert Roberts Copyright 2020
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    From the late nineteenth century through the 1970s, several government reform movements succeeded in controlling traditional types of public corruption. But has this historic success led to a false sense of security among public management scholars and professionals? As this book argues, powerful special interests increasingly find effective ways to gain preferential treatment without violating traditional types of public corruption prohibitions. Although the post-Watergate good government reform movement sought to close this gap, the 1980s saw a backlash against public integrity regulation, as the electorate in the United States began to split into two sharply different camps driven by very different moral value imperatives.

    Taking a historical view from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution through to the Trump administration, The Death of Public Integrity details efforts by reformers to protect public confidence in the integrity of government at the local, state, and federal levels. Arguing that progressives and conservatives increasingly live in different moral worlds, author Robert Roberts demonstrates the ways in which it has become next to impossible to hold public officials accountable without agreement on what constitutes immoral conduct. This book is required reading for students of public administration, public policy, and political science, as well as those interested in public service ethics.




    I. From Hope to Despair

    II. Rebellion and Reform

    III. Ethical Invincibility and the Golden Age of Public Administration

    IV. Public Ethics Polarization and the Breakdown of Civility

    V. The Public Integrity Counter Revolution

    VI. Political Polarization and Administrative Evil

    VII. The Appearance of Propriety

    VIII. The Morality Firestorm and the Campaign of 2016

    IX. What Takes Place in Trump Tower Does Not Stay In Trump Tower.

    X. The New Public Integrity: From Despair to Hope


    Robert Roberts is Professor of Political Science at James Madison University, U.S.A. Articles by Professor Roberts have appeared in the Public Administration Review, International Journal of Public Administration, Public Integrity, PS (Political Science) and Politics and Policy. Professor Roberts teaches courses in Introduction to Public Administration, Legal Environment of Public Administration, Criminal Procedure, and State and Local Government.