Perspectives Across Frontiers
New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Leo W.J.C. Huberts, Jeroen Maesschalk and Carole L. Jurkiewicz
John A. Rohr It was with considerable pleasure that I accepted the kind invitation from the editors of this book to write its preface. My pleasure was doubled by the fact that I had delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the Leuven conference on ‘Ethics and integrity of governance: perspectives across frontiers’, from which this volume springs. The chapters in this book are always instructive and at times profound. Despite their many merits, however, they cannot recreate the authentic spirit of international enthusiasm that permeated the conference itself, with its host of scholars from no less than a dozen nations. The Leuven conference was one of those all-too-rare ‘magic moments’ in academic life when staid, somber, serious professors set aside their normal reserve and reveal their expertise in a subject with passion to people who really care about what they are thinking. It would be unfair to ask the ﬁne contributors to this volume to recreate that magic moment in early June 2005. All the props are gone, from the chatty coﬀee breaks, to the remarkably eﬃcient support staﬀ, to the lovely, old city of Leuven itself. And yet Scriptum manet – the written words remain, as the old Romans told us. This is true, of course, but its obvious truth misses a subtler and more interesting one. To assert that the written word, including the words written in this book, simply remain ignores the dynamic character of writing. The written word does not remain in...