Foundations of Bureaucratic Ethics

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of Bureaucratic Ethics

policy debates revolve around interpretations of how a democratic nation is to
be governed. The ongoing controversy over the meaning of the Second Amendment
to the United States Constitution is an example of a modern-day issue rooted in
early democratic principles. Given the nature of gun violence in the United
States, the right to bear arms is a heated policy issue that warrants in-depth
reflection of what was intended for this fundamental right. Part of the
modern-day argument centers on whether government intervention in the form of
gun control is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Debates about the
proper role of government are as old as the government itself. The very fact
that there still is concern about what was intended is an indication that
founding periods in government are viewed as normative events, that is, events
that established or instituted democratic standards or became the basis for
democracy as we interpret it.

previous weeks, you have analyzed democratic concepts, democratic principles,
and democratic processes. Now you are asked to think more concretely about
those issues by assessing whether democratic governance constitutes the very
foundation of bureaucratic ethics. Those working in government are required to
adhere to a professional code of ethics. American public servants take an oath
upon appointment or election to uphold the principles of the Constitution as
part of their professional duties. For example, a public servant should support
the ideas of separation of powers and rule of law, which are basic tenets of
American democratic government. The question remains, however, whether taking
action that advances the cause of democratic governance is a legitimate way to
assess ethical behavior.

prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the article “Public Management as Ethics” in
    this week’s Learning Resources. Focus on the considerations of a values
    checklist as an aid in developing ethical public servants. Also, focus on
    the values checklist as it applies to the practice of public management.
  • Review the article “Ethics and Comparative
    Administration” in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about the ethical
    obligations of public administrators as public servants.
  • Consider the argument that democratic governance is the
    foundation of bureaucratic ethics.
  • Think about whether you agree with this argument.
  • Consider what you believe to be “true” about the
    foundation(s) of bureaucratic ethics.

Assignment (1–2 pages):

  • Read the “The United Nations of South America” document
    (located in this week’s Learning Resources). Respond to the questions at
    the end of this document.

your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its

 *** Readings

  • Rohr, J. A.
    (2007). Ethics and comparative administration. Public
    , 10(1), 65–74.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wedel, J. R.,
    Shore, C., Feldman, G., & Lathrop, S. (2005). Toward an anthropology
    of public policy. The ANNALS of the American
    Academy of Political and Social Science, 600
    (1), 30–51.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Dobel, J. P.
    (2006). Public management as ethics. In The
    Oxford handbook of public management
    , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 161–181. Retrieved
  • Lempert, R. J.,
    Popper, S. W., Min, E. Y., & Dewar, J. A. (Eds). (2009). Shaping tomorrow today: Near-term steps towards long-term
    . Retrieved from
  • Document: The United Nations of South
    America (PDF)