The relationship between evil and public affairs, as well as other fields and professions in public life, has come to the fore as institutions of government seek new ways to operate in an environment of extreme mistrust. Unmasking Administrative Evil, 5th Edition argues that the tendency toward administrative evil, as manifested in acts of dehumanization and genocide, is deeply woven into the identity of public affairs. Indeed, ordinary people may simply act appropriately in their organizational role—in essence, just doing what those around them would agree they should be doing—and at the same time, participate in what a critical and reasonable observer, usually well after the fact, would call evil. Even worse, under conditions of moral inversion, ordinary people can all too easily engage in acts of administrative evil while believing that what they are doing is not only correct, but in fact, good. This 5th edition offers important updates, including:
- A thorough discussion of contemporary virtue ethics as the field has evolved to offer an alternative to technical/rational ethics.
- An all-new three-part structure (What is Administrative Evil?, History and Cases, and The Future of Ethics in Praetorian Times) designed to aid in course organization and instruction.
- All-new cases, including an examination of the Flint water disaster, to provide contemporary examples of how populations can be marginalized and harmed by administrative processes that are blind to their consequences until it is too late.
Laying the groundwork for a more ethical and democratic public life – one that recognizes its potential for evil, and avoids state-sponsored dehumanization and destruction – Unmasking Administrative Evil, 5th Edition is required reading for all students of administrative ethics and public service ethics, as well those in other administrative sciences.
Introduction and Overview
Part I: What is Administrative Evil?
Chapter 1: The Dynamics of Evil and Administrative Evil
Chapter 2: Compliance, Technical Rationality, and Administrative Evil
Part II: History and Cases
Chapter 3: Administrative Evil Unmasked: The Holocaust and Public Service
Chapter 4: Administrative Evil in the 21st Century: Abu Ghraib, Moral Inversion, and Torture
Chapter 5: Public Policy, Administrative Evil, and Surplus Populations
Chapter 6. The Flint Water Disaster: From "Emergency Management" to Administrative Evil
Part III: The Future of Ethics in Praetorian Times
Chapter 7: Administrative Evil and Public Ethics in Praetorian Times
Chapter 8: Towards a New Context for Public Ethics: Three Approaches
9: Afterword: Expiating Evil and Administrative Evil
Appendix A: Foreword to the Third Edition, Philip G. Zimbardo
Appendix B: Foreword to the Second Edition, Charles B. Perrow
Appendix C: Foreword to the First Edition, Curtis Ventriss
About the Authors
"This book is indispensable to the field of public administration; a discipline which labored far too long under the illusion that morals were somebody else’s business. The nearly effortless way that administrative agencies can slide into routine practices that wreak havoc requires our constant attention. If we don’t learn from what the authors have to say in this book, we are consigned to more tragedies like those they describe."
Frank Anechiarico, Hamilton College, USA
"The field of public administration rightly salutes public service as a normative good. However, this indispensable volume also rightly reminds us that public bureaucracies are capable of immense evil. Now in its fifth edition, Unmasking Administrative Evil should be required reading in master of public administration and policy programs and among civil servants everywhere."
David Rosenbloom, American University, USA