The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

Robert G. Vaughn

Drawing on literature from several disciplines, this enlightening book examines the history of whistleblower laws throughout the world and provides an analytical structure for the most common debates about the nature of such laws and their potential successes and failures.

Chapter 2: Question authority

Robert G. Vaughn

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, labour, employment law, politics and public policy, public policy


The admonition or command to question authority was more than a counterculture badge or words embossed on a T-shirt – rather, it expressed a suspicion of authority and a challenge to its legitimacy. The phrase’s frequent appearance attested to its ubiquity and influence on American culture in the 1960s and 70s. It represented more than an affirmation of individualism. It embodied fear and distaste for authority that was a part of the fabric of American democracy. Graphic displays of this admonition did more than acknowledge historical precepts. They counseled skepticism and resistance, counsel that relied upon contemporary illustrations of the dangers of institutional and bureaucratic authority to democratic societies and to individual liberty. They suggested a need to criticize and remake those institutions.

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