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:
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.
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
Introduction and Overview
Part I: What is Administrative Evil?
1. The Dynamics of Evil and Administrative Evil
2. Compliance, Technical Rationality, and Administrative Evil
Part II: History and Cases
3. Administrative Evil Unmasked: The Holocaust and Public Service
4. Administrative Evil in the 21st Century: Abu Ghraib, Moral Inversion, and Torture Policy
5. Public Policy and Administrative Evil: Mass Incarceration and Surplus Populations
6. The Flint Water Disaster: From "Emergency Management" to Administrative Evil
Part III: The Future of Ethics in Praetorian Times
7. Administrative Evil and Public Ethics in Praetorian Times
8. Towards a New Context for Public Ethics
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