Under Construction. The Genesis of Public Value Systems
01 / 2006 - 01 / 2010
The problem with studying public values is that they often remain implicit, seldom explicitly debated. However, what is unacceptable is often publicly spelt out. Therefore, in the program " Under construction: the genesis of public value systems", corruption scandals are used to trace shifts in the values underpinning public administration, and in the way public administration negotiates the problem of the mutual incompatibility of values that underpin administrative activity. The subject is approached from a historical angle, as it is only on the basis of in-depth (detailed) research into particular (historical) debates that we can expect to find material that substantiates, complements and corrects the existing abstract conceptions. Case material from three periods is studied: 1650-1750, 1750-1850, and 1850-1950, to reconstruct thinking on values within government. This approach is combined with a study of 'value-laden' thought on the normative contours of public administration.