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The Costs of Speaking Truth to Power: How Professionalism Facilitates Credible Communication

Joseph M. Tonon
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Apr., 2008), pp. 275-295
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25096366
Page Count: 21
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The Costs of Speaking Truth to Power: How Professionalism Facilitates Credible Communication
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Abstract

This article examines how information or policy analysis can be credibly communicated between the bureaucracy and Congress. To investigate this issue, I develop a signaling model which shows that under certain circumstances-specifically when professionalized bureaucrats can impose observable costs on themselves that their politically inclined counterparts are unwilling to incur-credible communication between the bureaucracy and Congress is possible. A contribution of this article is that it provides a theoretical underpinning for the importance of professionalism and neutral competence in the bureaucracy as a means of promoting good governance.

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