making local government more ethical

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Book Reviews

Robert Wechsler
The Ethics of Gut Reactions
According to Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), our morality is driven by our gut reactions, particularly about disgust. Disgust, based in senses (bad smells, yucky tastes, gross textures), extends to feelings of disrespect for people who offend our...
Robert Wechsler

In his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), Jonathan Haidt identifies one of the biggest obstacles to government ethics in the U.S.:  the fact that we have an individualistic society, placing individuals at the center, rather than the more common sociocentric society, which subordinates the needs of...
Robert Wechsler

Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012) is a book that does not, from its title, appear to have much value for government ethics. But Haidt's approach to morality, and his look at how people approach morality, provides a lot of food for thought about government ethics, enough to fill nine blog posts...
Robert Wechsler
I recently read Judith N. Shklar's book The Faces of Injustice (Yale U.P., 1990). This excellent essay about the difference between misfortune and injustice would not appear to have much to do with government ethics. But there turns out to be much relevant...
Robert Wechsler
University of Maryland Law School professor Deborah Hellman recently put the draft of her law review article, "Defining Corruption and Constitutionalizing Democracy" (forth. Mich. L. Rev (Vol. 111)), on SSRN. The core argument of her paper is that defining legislative corruption requires a theory of the legislator's role in a democracy. Hellman sets out three such theories, and I add a fourth.
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Robert Wechsler

Corrupt Cities: A Practical Guide to Cure and Prevention, a book by Robert Klitgaard, Ronald Maclean-Abaroa, and H. Lindsey Parris (Institute for Contemporary Studies, 2000), is an excellent study and analysis of municipal anti-corruption efforts primarily outside of the United States. Much of what the authors recommend is of use in the U.S., as well.

The authors...

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