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.
About the Author
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.