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Ethical Issues in French Public Administration: A Comparative Study

John A. Rohr
Public Administration Review
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1991), pp. 283-297
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/976744
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/976744
Page Count: 15
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Ethical Issues in French Public Administration: A Comparative Study
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Abstract

How do the French approach ethical issues in public administration? John A. Rohr provides a comparative perspective on public administration ethics by focusing on how the French deal with three issues that attract considerable debate in the United States: conflict of interest, the political activities of civil servants, and the requirement of an oath of office. His critical analysis shows some major differences in how each country handles these issues. There are sharp differences reflected in financial disclosure requirements, and American public administrators face stricter enforcement of postemployment regulations. While allowing their civil servants to partake in a more active political life than do their U. S. counterparts, the French impose a "complicated and somewhat amorphous standard" of political neutrality that Rohr questions on several grounds. Rohr finds differences regarding oath requirements that are rooted in the historical experiences of each society. Finally, Rohr contends that while it would be unwise for Americans simply to imitate French standards and practices, we can deepen our understanding of our own standards and practices by examining those of other countries like France.

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