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SAGE Publications
Ethics of Dissent: Managing Guerrilla Government / Edition 1

Ethics of Dissent: Managing Guerrilla Government / Edition 1

by Rosemary O'Leary
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Guerrillas in government are all around us. They can be as high profile as "Deep Throat," or as low profile as the bureaucrat who belligerently slows the processing of an application for a driver's license. Their dissent stems from dissatisfaction with the actions of public organizations they work for, but they strategically choose not to go public with their concerns. Instead, they work against the wishes-either implicitly or explicitly communicated-of their superiors and run the spectrum from anti-establishment liberals to fundamentalist conservatives, from constructive contributors to deviant destroyers. Typically guerrilla government is undetected as it is woven into the fabric of the everyday, often mundane, world of bureaucracy.

Rosemary O'Leary shows that the majority of guerrilla government cases are the manifestation of inevitable tensions between bureaucracy and democracy, which yield immense ethical and organizational challenges that all public managers must learn to navigate. To illustrate these tensions and challenges, O'Leary presents three in-depth case studies and 21 mini case studies that showcase the range of guerrillas from an official at a regional EPA office to a doctor at a medical school to the director of planning in a county office. O'Leary's fresh analysis, combined with great story-telling, underscores the importance of dissent and presents strategies for ways public servants can decide ethically to engage in guerrilla activity, while offering ways public managers can learn to tap into the potentially insightful, creative ideas and energy of dissenters in order to make constructive changes in the system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901933116609
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 12/15/2005
Series: Public Affairs and Policy Administration Series
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Rosemary O'Leary is the Director of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Kansas (KU), one of the highest ranked programs in local government management in the world. She is also the Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor at KU. Previously she was on the faculty of the Maxwell School of Syracuse University (Phanstiel Chair) and at Indiana University-Bloomington (Professor). She was the creator and coordinator of the Minnowbrook III conferences that assessed the future of public administration around the world. O'Leary is the author or editor of 12 books and more than 130 articles and book chapters on public management. She is the winner of 16 national research awards, including 7 senior scholar awards. She is also the winner of 10 teaching awards. She is the only person to win 3 Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration awards for Best Dissertation, Excellence in Teaching, and Distinguished Research. An experienced university leader, O’Leary is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration. She was a senior Fulbright scholar in Malaysia and in the Philippines. She was also an Ian Axford Public Policy Scholar in New Zealand. O’Leary was a member of the NASA’s Return to Flight Task Group assembled in response to the Columbia space shuttle accident where she was awarded the NASA Public Service Medal for her efforts. O’Leary was President of the Public Management Research Association from 2017 to 2019.

Table of Contents

1 Guerrilla What?
2 Guerrilla Government in the Nevada Wetlands
First Interlude: More Stories of Guerrilla Government
3 Guerrilla Government in EPA’s Seattle Regional Office
Second Interlude: More Stories of Guerrilla Government
4 A Government Guerrilla Sues His Own Agency: Off-Road Vehicles in the Hoosier National Forest
5 WikiLeaks and Guerrilla Government: The World’s Largest Security Breach
Third Interlude: More Stories of Guerrilla Government
6 Managing Guerrilla Government: Ethical Crusaders or Insubordinate Renegades?
Postlude: Are there Lessons?

What People are Saying About This

Don Kettl

"The book stands out as one of the most insightful works on the real world of bureaucracy ever written.... It is also an imaginary and path breaking approach to the always-difficult issue of ethics in the public service."
University of Pennsylvania

Frances S. Berry

"This important book delves into an under-discussed topic - managers as guerrilla fighters - through rich case studies. The author has a wonderful writing style that is very engaging and accessible."
Florida State University

Norma Riccucci

"Rosemary O'Leary's Ethics of Dissent is exquisitely written and provides one of the most compelling analyses and syntheses of the implications of guerrilla government to democracies. The book has exceptional pedagogical features and would be very suitable in a variety of course in not only public administration, but public affairs and public policy as well."
Rutgers University - Newark

Steven Maynard-Moody

"The Ethics of Dissent is a lively, well-written book. It covers a range of literature, and the cases provide an essential glimpse into the real workings of government. Combining extended cases with theoretical discussion makes for more interesting classes and connects theory and practice. Books, like O'Leary's, that connect the two are rare. "
University of Kansas

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