Ethics and Integrity of Governance
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Ethics and Integrity of Governance

Perspectives Across Frontiers

Edited by Leo W.J.C. Huberts, Jeroen Maesschalk and Carole L. Jurkiewicz

This book provides critical, up-to-date reviews on the field of ethics and integrity of governance, along with fresh future perspectives. Focusing on Europe and the US, it addresses the key dimensions of public service values, the integrity and rationality of governance, ethics management, and the ethics of governance politics. In each of these four areas, leading international scholars tackle the main issues and controversies facing the world today. The final chapter synthesizes these views and provides an ambitious and critical outline for future work in the field of ethics and integrity of governance. Emanating from the much heralded ‘transatlantic dialogue’, this study integrates both the European and American perspectives into a common voice for action.
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Chapter 12: In Defence of Politicking: Private, Personal and Public Interests

Robert P. Kaye


Robert P. Kaye INTRODUCTION In the 1990s the British political system experienced profound ethical change. Prompted by concerns about the behavior of backbench MPs, political appointments to quangos, and the revolving door between government and private industry, the Government appointed a specialist Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL), initially under Lord Nolan, which set about examining – and reforming – areas of government that gave rise to concerns over public integrity. Nolan was not an attempt to start from first principles. Its reforms were designed to work within the framework of institutional opinion. Nonetheless the ensuing reforms were not immune to an ‘ethics backlash’. Just as writers such as Anechiarico and Jacobs (1996) and Mackenzie and Hafken (2002) have pointed to ways in which ethics measures can act antithetically to good government and stymie public administration, so in the last three to four years post-Nolan reforms1 have been criticized as excessive, burdensome, disproportionate, outmoded, irrelevant – a critique that has resulted in a rolling back of the ethics regime for Members of Parliament and a CSPL report on ‘getting the balance right’ in the rules for local councillors and public appointments. This chapter uses examples from the new ethics regimes in British local government and the House of Commons in an attempt to provide a more theoretical understanding of the limits of public integrity policies. By concentrating on institutions with legislative functions, the cases bring into sharp focus the potential clash between public integrity and democratic representation; between independence and neutrality; and...

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