Administrative Evil As a Social Article Critique

Total Length: 1311 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Page 1 of 4

Accordingly, Browder notes that "the discipline of public administration has little sense of its historical circumstances and constantly re-issues 'new' calls for science and rigour. Instead, we must focus more research on critical, historically-based studies." (p. 1) Browder argues that the insertion of administrative evil into such discussions provides just such a basis for consideration.

Key Scholars:

The key scholars of importance in this discussion are Adams & Balfour, whose 1998 text Unmasking Administrative Evil is identified as the seminal work on the subject by Dubnick & Justice. Indeed, Adams & Balfour have continued to examine these issues, resolving as recently as 2007 that "the ethical framework within a technical rational system thus posits the primacy of an abstract, utility-maximizing individual, while binding leaders and professionals to organizations in ways that make them into reliable conduits for the dictates of legitimate authority, which is no less legitimate when it happens to be pursuing an unethical or even evil policy." (p. 4) This denotes that today, in the wake of events such as the War in Iraq, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and Hurricane Katrina, social construct remains a powerful force in shaping the priorities and the ethical orientation of administrative institutions.

Works Cited:

Adams, G.B. & Balfour, D.L. (2007). Leadership, Administrative Evil and the Ethics of Incompetence: Lessons from Katrina and Iraq. The Third Transatlantic Dialogue: University of Delaware.

Browder, G.C. (2001). Book Review: Unmasking Administrative Evil. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 8(3), 173-184.

Dubnick, M.J. & Justice, J.B. (2006). Accountability and the Evil of Administrative Ethics. Administration & Society, 38(2), p. 236.

Order Number




Due Date







Public Administration

Article Critique


Administrative Evil


Instructions for: Critical Article and Analysis (1 Primary article) as compared/contrast to the other two THEME related articles. BUT primary focus is the dissection and brining up the most important points and specific paragraph/quotes referenced please.

Melvin J. Dubnick and Jonathan B. Justice, "Accountability and the Evil of Administrative Ethics." Administration & Society 38 (May 2006): 236-267.


THEME: Administrative Evil

PURPOSE: Requirements for Critical Article and Analysis Data Mining. I am not seek a Literature Review but rather a review for the purpose of preparing for PhD Pre-Qualifying exams


- data mine the article and classify into categories, i.e. key tenets, pros/cons, application to PA, key scholars/works, etc. -- . (crude example uploaded on the Shields-Taproot article)

- analysis views the article/s within the context of the larger academic discipline. And how it applies to the "Theme"

- As appropriate should consider the background of the book's author, the soundness of the argument and methods, and how the book fits into the larger academic debates raised within Public Administration.

- Review bibliography/references in back of article or book and select relevant follow on readings that would relate directly to the "Theme."

- The critical analysis and review should have a clear structure; for example, it may be organized according to the original book's chapter sequence, arguments, etc.

- argument about the article or book is well supported with necessary details, such as examples or direct quotes.

- Expand and illuminate key concepts by linking to supplementary files (e.g., graphic images, tables, exhibits, audio clips, video clips, and embedded Flash files) from the review.

- Writer is welcome to include in the critical analysis and review which include references to other works -- " such works frequently establish the scholarly conversation around an article or book's topic AND applicability to the specific "them" -- " but make sure that references to outside works are clear and helpful to the review as a whole. In other words, don't refer to an external work just….....

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