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By Camilla Stivers

''The darkness of the specter of terrorism is rapid, yet both profound is the darkness of a misplaced public world,'' observes Camilla Stivers during this mirrored image at the large gulf among govt and voters. Stivers explores the conjunction of those different types of ''dark times'' within the United States-an period of pervasive worry and feel of vulnerability brought on by way of the terrorist assaults of September eleven, and the darkness attributable to the lack of a public area during which electorate brazenly talk about shared issues. during this contemplative publication, she probes the level to which the lack of public house makes us not able to stand the recent demanding situations confronting our govt. and since public directors are the nearest point of presidency to boring voters, those doubly darkish occasions query the which means of public provider. Stivers analyzes the quest for fact and which means in public carrier from Kant and Hobbes to Arendt and Foucault, uncovering the philosophical assumptions aiding the present managerial notion of governance. She proposes an alternate set that will allow public servants to foster extra confident democratic associations. The publication concludes with a version for public provider ethics.

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Example text

The specter of a torturer with clean hands should haunt us. The Bush administration position on the issue of torture—what it is, whether the United States has done it or not, whether it is ever justified—is striking in that many of its prominent players are lawyers and very few if any are philosophers. Perhaps this means nothing more than a large number of lawyers (and a small number of philosophers) are typically found in government. But the particular role certain lawyers have played may be worth reflection.

3 This line of thought suggests that by declaring war on terrorism, the Bush administration gave the terrorists exactly what they wanted. 4 Seeing the struggle as a war encourages images that sharpen the contrast between the two sides: us vs. them, the forces of darkness vs. the forces of light, the civilized vs. the barbarian, evildoers vs. good guys. These images have become so pervasive in American public life since the attacks that now it is the images, rather than our former comfort, that are in danger of being taken for granted.

Why is this important? Because the ticking bomb scenario stands out as the most vivid and easily remembered piece of rationalization for torture. People now have in their minds a story that claims to prove that one can’t be a purist even about something as bad as torture, and that someday somewhere the time will come when you or I just might have to see it as the lesser of two evils. Exceptions have a way of becoming accepted practices, as every bureaucrat knows. Employees of government agencies are cautious about making exceptions to rules in order to avoid setting new precedents that may be hard to live with later on.

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