"The Case for Administrative Evil: A Critique" Spirited Dialogue Essay PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW, 60, no. 5 (September/October, 2000): 452-462.
Selected as Burchfield Award winner for best review essay in PAR for 2000
Dubnick 2000C (Case for Administrative Evil)
Review: Spirited Dialogue Author(s): Margaret H. Vickers, Hubert G. Locke, Melvin J. Dubnick, Guy B. Adams, Danny L. Balfour Reviewed work(s): Unmasking Administrative Evil by Guy B. Adams ; Danny L. Balfour Source: Public Administration Review, Vol. 60, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 2000), pp. 464-482 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3110235 Accessed: 05/09/2009 23:02 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. 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Blackwell Publishing and American Society for Public Administration are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Public Administration Review. http://www.jstor.org Book Reviews I LarryLuton,Editor for to readers.Inthisissue,we focusattention theawardwinning Dialogueis a specialforum livelyexchangeson booksof interest PAR on Spirited book, Administrative by GuyAdamsand DannyBalfourTheexchangebeginswitha hard-hitting controversial and The Evil, Unmasking critique MelDubnick. by Vickers and Hubert Locke made by Adams and Balfour and respondto Dubnick's essays by Margaret praise the contribution critique.Theexchange witha responseby Adamsand Balfour. concludes LSL Spirited The Case Dialogue: for Administrative A Evil: Critique' MelvinJ. Dubnick,Rutgers University-Newark Guy B. Adams and Danny L. thatit stirsdebateandreflectionabout mental at first, and I have previously Balfour's UnmaskingAdministrative importantissues, UAE no doubt de- offereda seriouscritiqueof the field's Evil (UAE)is animportant bookin sev- serves the attentionand honors it has scholarship(Dubnick 1999). Thereis eralrespects,not the least being the at- received.But does it deservethe same growing acceptance,however, of the tentionit has generatedamongreaders degreeof attentionas a workof schol- idea that most academic scholarship both within and outside the field of arship? is in fact focused on efforts to perAs a commuPublic Administration.2 What follows is a critical assess- suade, andthatrhetoricand argumennity of scholars,PublicAdministration mentof UAEas a workof scholarship, tationplay key rolesin the conductand is not known for its contributionsto and my focus is on two general con- presentationof research in all disciliterature. do not tend to cerns. In the first section, I present a plines (Gross 1996;Edmondson1984; We "popular" publishbooks likely to be foundon the foundationfor assessing the credibil- Nelson, Megill, andMcCloskey 1987; shelves at Borders or Barnes and ity of argumentativescholarshipand Patterson1996; Mailloux 1989; Fish Noble-not even in the "management" offer an assessment of UAE on those 1989, ch. 20; Gusfield 1976; section wherejust about anythingas- grounds.In the second section, I high- Overington1977). Among studentsof sociatedwith organizational seems light some of the special responsibili- social scientific inquiry,attentionhas life to sell. Beyond the rare exception or ties-some of themethical-assumed shifted from the search for universal two, ours is not a field that draws at- by scholarswho use rhetoricaland ar- or reconstructed "logics"of inquiryto tentionto itselfthrough con- gumentative Hereas well, an understanding the dynamic"disof publishing approaches. troversialvolumes. I assess UAEto see how well it "mea- cursive cultures" of inquiry (Nagel Therefore,any work published by sures up." In the final section, I dis- 1961; Hall 1999; Kaplan 1964). For our colleagues receiving some critical cuss what the widespreadenthusiasm some, this view reinforces the attentionis indeed an importantpub- for this work says aboutour field and postmodern critique of "scientism," lication for our community.And the its view of scholarship. especially in the social sciences fact that it has received two of the (Rosenau1992).Forothers,it supports field's major "book of the year" a more realisticview of the imperfect TheCredibility of awards3 world of scholarshipfound in all disonly reinforcesthatjudgment. UAE is no doubt a book to be reck- Argumentative Scholarship ciplines (Sokal and Bricmont 1998). oned with for any serious student of In this context, the characterization PublicAdministration. Scholarship as Argument of UAEas a rhetoricalworkdoes little UAEachieved its notable statusby Hood andJackson(1991, especially morethanmakeexplicit the argumena contentious work,puttingforth ch. 2) characterize the literature of tative form of inquiryused by the aubeing a strongargumenton behalf of a par- Public Administrationas argumenta- thors. They are in good company. ticularviewpoint.It is a workof rheto- tive and rhetorical,4 view they trace Among the contemporaryclassics of a ric, designedprimarilyto introduceus to HerbertSimon's classic critiqueof Public Administrationare works no to an insightfulperspectiveandto per- orthodoxyin "TheProverbs Admin- less argumentative,from Hummel's of suade us of its value for understand- istration."5 characterization the The BureaucraticExperience (1994) The of the problematicnatureof modem field's literatureas rhetoricaland ar- and Goodsell's The Casefor Bureauing To public administration. the degree gumentativemay seem harshlyjudg- cracy(1994) to OsborneandGaebler's 464 Public Review Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 2000, 60, Reinventing Government (1992). Thus, the assessment of a work such as UAE depends on the standardswe as a field accept for argumentative scholarship. According to philosopherStephen Toulmin, once we accept the legitimacy of rhetoricaland argumentative we inquiry, face a choice betweenstandardsderived from idealized logic or "working" logic (1958, especially ch. IV). An idealized logic posits universal standards an argument's for claims, in both form demanding conformity and substance.Simon used such standards in his critique of orthodoxy's concludprinciplesof administration, sufferedtwo fatal flaws: they ing they came in conflicting pairs and were grounded in "ordinaryknowledge" ratherthanderivedfrom scientific inquiry.In contrast,a workinglogic uses standards appliedin "reallife" condiandthese areoften radicallydiftions, ferentfromidealized standards. Thus, in contrastto Simon, Hood and Jackson called for the assessment of "administrativearguments" the basis on of theircredibilityamongpractitioners who, in turn, rely on their working logic to determinewhat is acceptable or not acceptable."Winningadministrativeideas," they argue, "arerarely very profound.Oftenthey arerepackaged andrelabeled[sic] versionsof an idea which has been advancedmany times before. Frequently their premises come down to some banal notion of 'humannature'coupled with a contestableview aboutlinks between cause andeffect. 'Proof'typicallyconsists of no more than a few colorful examples" (Hood and Jackson 1991, 10-11). A similar distinction is useful in for developingstandards assessingthe credibility of argumentativescholarship. We can apply some idealized logic (such as, logical positivism) to claims made by our colleagues, but in the process we are likely to find ourselves reestablishingand reinforcing the sameepistemologicalandmethod- ological divisions that have plagued assumed to be valid. In the example our field for the past half-century.A of the aircraftdisaster, the technical moreproductive involvesthe feasibility andreliabilityof radarscan approach of standards derivedfrom datais assumed,and(at least initially) application a workinglogic relevantto the schol- the claim makerdoes not have to provide supportor "backing" the warfor arly functionsof the field. As a claim-asserting argument, rantitself (Elgin 1996, 101-6). In conUAEis subjectto assessmenton both trast,a warrant-establishing argument idealized and practicalgrounds.Here will offer backingfor the propositions I focus on the workinglogic approach, used to link evidence to the claim for maker'sassertions. relying on the basic requirements a justifiable or credible argumentesThe standards scholarshipin alof tablishedby Toulmin in The Uses of most all disciplines require warrantToulmin posits that sup- establishingarguments cases where in Argument.6 port for the substance of any claim the claims or their assumptions are morethanthe dataor evidence novel or controversial.To the degree requires that generated it. The fact that the that there are certainpresuppositions Coast Guardfinds debris floating off that are widely accepted among the the coast of Nantucketmight lead to communityof scholarswithin a field, the claim thatthey had discoveredthe a warrantneed not require backing crash,butmore each time it is applied.However, one wreckageof an airliner is requiredto establish the claim as of the shared assumptions among justifiable. A credible claim calls for membersof an academic field is that the use of such warrantsis subject to qualifiersand warrants. Qualifiers are factors that, if true, challenge-and thus the expectation would lead to a modification of the thata scholarmustbe prepared proto claim's reliance on the evidence. For vide supportfor any warrant used in a claim (Chandler, Davidson, example,a shipwreckin the samegen- particular eral area several days prior could be and Harootunian1994). the source of the debris. While not This is a fundamentalexpectation the claim wrong, in any academic effort that seeks lenecessarilyproving a qualifierraises issues about the de- gitimacy as scholarship-an expectation that is sharedby the humanities, gree of justifiability. Warrants an even more funda- the sciences, and the social sciences. are mental consideration. They provide And it is this expectation that is not the justifying link between facts and met by Adams and Balfour. claims, andcan be regardedas propositions offered to supporta claim. In The Basic Claims their simplest form, they are clear "if The principal assertion of UAE is ... then"statements:If searchersfind thatwe areconfrontedwith a new and debrisat a pointwherethe aircraft was particularlypernicious form of evil last trackedby radar,then the claim rooted in the "cultureof technical rathat it was from the missing airliner tionality." This administrative evil would be justified. If the debris con- "wearsmany masks"(4) thatkeeps it sisted of items typically associated hidden from those "ordinary people" with the missing aircraft, then the who do its bidding unintentionally. claim's justificationis even greater. Thus,through manipulation lanthe of Toulmin also makes a critically guage and a process of "moralinverevil importantdistinction between "war- sion," administrative makes puband"warrant-establishing"lic administrators unknowing and its rant-using" arguments.Warrant-using arguments complicitous agents. The supporting justify claims on the basis of proposi- evidence for the existence of admintions that are "takenfor granted"or istrativeevil is all around us-from the Spirited Dialogue465 of horrors a technologicallydrivenwar machine to public policies that dehumanize poor and defenseless ("surplus")populations.Moreover,administrative evil is so pervasive and powerfulthatit is capableof overcoming all those externalandprofessional controls designed to offset its worst consequences (see ch. 7). In the end, Adams and Balfour contend that our only hope might come througha radical reconstituting ourdominantculof ture-from one based on procedural and individualistic values to one grounded in substantive and values (175-80). communitarian While thatbrief summarydoes not do justice to the elaborate argument woven by Adams and Balfour,it presents the basic claims of their argument. As novel and controversialas those claims seem, however, they are not accompanied by clear warrants. And such warrants are used to supas port the majorclaims lack the kind of authoritativeor evidentiary backing one might expect for such a controversial analysis. Adams and Balfour seem aware of this shortcomingand addressthose readers "who can look at human history and see no evil" or those who might regard"negativeinteractionin humanaffairs"as merely "dysfunctionalbehavior"ratherthan evidence of evil. "We ask that these readersset aside their objections and give the argumenta chance to convince them"(xx). This would be a reasonablerequestif we were able to accept the ability to "convince" as an standardfor scholarship. appropriate Being "convincing"may be a necesbut saryexpectationfor any argument, is not sufficientin the pursuitof credible scholarship. Consider,for example, the book's most fundamentalclaims that (a) the world has long sufferedfrom evil and (b) today it is suffering from a "new and frighteningform of evil-administrative evil" (4). For Adams and Balfour, the claim that evil is a historical fact is self-evident and there- fore requires no further support-in Toulmin'sterms,it is a warrant-using argument. Their approach to the second claim, however, is necessarily more explicit, for they are simultaneously creating a new concept of evil while arguing for their claim that administrative evil is inherentin the modem human condition. This is a warranttherefore,they establishingargument; should be expected to provide backing for the claim and expect the proposition to be challenged. The Definition of Administrative Evil Adams and Balfour define evil itself as "instances in which humans inflictpain and knowingly deliberately and sufferingon otherhumanbeings" (xix; emphasisadded).This definition is quickly changed and eventually transformedas the presentation unfolds. The explicit change occursjust a page later when the authorsmake a distinction between historical evil (which fits the initial definition) and administrativeevil, which seems to of lack the core characteristics "knowbehavior (xxing" and "deliberate" xxi). This turns out to be a critical change, for it leads to a conceptual ambiguitythat is centralto determining the work's scholarlycredibility. Administrativeevil, as developed by Adams andBalfour,is dangerously differentfromtraditional because evil it out unawarethat they people carry are engaging in evil behavior.In contrast, what has made the traditional concept of evil behavior so interesting and challengingfor philosophers, fiction writers,and othersis thatit involves actors who are aware of the wrongs they are committingand who have reflected on their bad actions. The literarymodels often used by phiinclude in losophers Iago Shakespeare's Othello and John Claggart in Melville's Billy Buddcharacterswho understoodwhat they were doing was wrong, and who con- cluded upon reflection thatthey must do their evil deeds (McGinn 1997; Midgley 1984, 139-45). Take away awarenessanddeliberateness, you and have effectively created a hollow conceptualizationof evil, useless for purposesof explainingor understanding humanbehavior. Adams and Balfour develop this revised idea of evil by elaboratingon various factors that renderthis modem evil quite different from evils of the past. The modem form uses both the "modem complex organization" and the culture of technical rationality as masking devices (xxi). Once administrative theyhave characterized evil as "masked," new narrative a subtly emerges to replace the traditional one. Whatstartedas a characterization of actions ("instances" of inflicting into pain andsuffering)is transfigured a historical force-one energized by the culturalnorms of technical rationality that make members of modem bureaucratic agencies the unknowing and non-deliberativeagents of its detestabledeeds. This conceptual transfiguration is achieved in chapter 1, where the authors adopt two perspectives-one behavioraland the other post-Freudian-that are intended to supportthe idea of administrativeevil. Early in chapter 1, Adams and Balfour reinforcetheirhollow conceptualization of evil by shifting more explicitly from their original definition of evil to a "behavioral" definitionthatrendersit as the "antithesis good in all its prinof cipal senses" (2). Fromthis view, evil behavioris no differentfromanyother bad or destructive behavior except perhaps in degree of badness. Evil, therefore,can range from the hurtful white lie to mass murder. Intentionalnor ity is no longer a requirement; is agentialconsciousness. Having freed the concept of evil from those characteristicsthat allow us to meaningfully it differentiate from other forms of bad behavior,Adams and Balfour turnto the task of estab- Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 Review 466 Public 2000, 60, lishing a theoreticalrationalefor evil and Balfourin applyingit in this paras an autonomous historical force, ticularcase. This is a pivotal point in while retaining the linkage between determiningthe scholarlystandingof human behavior and administrative the administrative argument,and evil evil. This is no easy task since human yet the authorsspend less than three awarenessand intent are irrelevantto pages elaboratingits complex logic. the operationsof this new evil. WithOne of the earliest advocates and out creating that linkage, their case practitioners applyingthis particuof would rest on the "myth of pure lar theory to organizationshas conevil"-a situationthey explicitly seek cludedthatextrapolation the projecof to avoid (12-14). tive identification and container To make the connection between mechanismsto moder social instituthe evil inherent in human life and tionsis dysfunctional well as unproas administrative evil, Adams and ductive (Jaques1995). A key focus of Balfourturnto a Kleinianversion"ob- his criticism is the use of "technical ject-relations"psychology, an impor- psychoanalyticconcepts as organizatant choice for Adams and Balfour tionalmetaphors disguisedin scientific their assertion that "[t]here clothing. It strengthensobfuscation." despite may be other and perhapsbetter ex- Singled out for criticismby Jaquesis for planations"upon which to construct the concept of "transference," its the story of administrativeevil (11). application relieson theassumption that alternative theories, the organizations institutionshave an and Among Kleinian version7of object-relations unconscious-a criticalpremiseof the psychology tends to be deterministic, psychoanalyticapproachthat is now stressingthe influence of past experi- generallydismissedeven by thosewho ence and leaving little room for indi- continue to pursue its applicationto vidual choice and responsibility life organization (Amado1995).Yetfor 1999, ch. 2 and 3; Mitchell the administrativeevil argument to (Minsk and 1988, 256-7). work,organizations social instituBut the most relevant feature of tionsmustpossess anunconsciousthat KleiniantheoryforAdamsandBalfour manifestsitself in the ideologies and arethe variousmechanismsit offersto belief systems of its members.Most rationalizethe emergenceof adminis- contemporary studentsof moder ortrativeevil from withinhumansociet- ganizations and institutions have ies. They include "projective identifi- adoptedconcepts of culturein lieu of unconscious(such cation," and "containers" (Minsky the psychoanalytic 1999, 37-9, 165-7). Projectiveidenti- as, Douglas 1986), which leads to the ficationprovidesthe means by which question whyAdamsandBalfourdid of both good and bad feelings are exter- not do the same when seeking to exnalized to objects in the environment. plainthe autonomous existence of adalso take the original Kleinian ministrative evil. The obvious answer They idea of the mother-as-an-external-con-is thatsucha conceptcouldnotbe suptainerfor those feelings, andsubstitute portedby socio-historical socio-culor and moder organizations social insti- turaltheories. tutions for the mother.Putting these Adams and Balfour do not let the mechanisms contendthat problematic nature of their conceptogether, they the evil inherentin each personis ex- tualizationdeter them from pursuing into ternalized organizational insti- the argument.The true natureof adand tutional "holding environments" ministrative evil emerges slowly the throughprojectiveidentification. throughout restof the presentation, The issues raisedby this rangefrom assuming an ever-wideningrange of the credibilityof the Kleinian model attributes with the reading of each itself to the liberties taken by Adams chapter. know fromthe first chapWe ters thatthe cultureand logic of technical rationality is a core feature of administrative evil, and by the end of the book we know this involves such things as a "scientific-analyticmindset,"moralinversionsandperversions, instrumental rationality, professionalism andexpertise,efficiency,scientific rigor, modernity,diminished historical consciousness,destructiveorganizationaldynamics,"persecutory organizational culture," procedural-ism, rational problem-solving, inhumane public policies, and moral vacuity. Thus, by the end of theirpresentation Adams and Balfour have offered up the concept as an all-encompassing primum mobile capable of filling in thatgnawinggapin ourabilityto make sense of this (obviously) terrible world.The questionremains,arethey "warranted" doing so. in This reconceptualization of evil comes with considerable cost and little, if any, gain. They have emptied evil of its basic features,and what remainsis a phenomenon abstract so and in scope thatit borders comprehensive on being conceptually "magical" (Frazer1951, 56-7). Just as important, by taking this approachAdams and Balfour create still another a long line of diversions in from the really difficult questions raised by the Holocaust, the Challenger accident, and the other cases touched on in UAE.As noted below, Sofsky's own "thick description"of Nazi concentration campoperationsas well as Browning's study of Reserve Police Battalion 101-demonstrates, warrantable claims can be made aboutthe role of public administrators in the Holocaust (Sofsky 1996, 8; Browning 1992). But such claims are typically more complex thanthe contentionthatsome demonic cultural force was at work making clueless people conducthistory'smost gruesomegenocide. The inabilityof AdamsandBalfour to properlywarrant concept of adthe ministrativeevil is not surprisingin Spirited Dialogue467 light of the otherscholarshipthatuses or makes referenceto evil in general. The authorsare only partlycorrectin observingthatevil "is not an accepted entry in the lexicon of the social sciences" (1), for anthropologists,psychologists,andothersocial andbehavioral scientists have devoted many volumes andjournalpages to the subject. Many scholars study evil as a cultural phenomenon, just as they study rituals, religions, and ethical systems (Parkin 1985; Pagels 1995; Delbanco 1995). Still anothergroup of scholars study phenomena previously attributedto "evil" with the intentof demonstrating such a charthat acterizationhas been an obstacle to a of betterunderstanding behaviorand social life. Most noteworthy among these was the work of KonradLorenz, whose most famous work-published in English as On Aggression-was originally titled So-Called Evil (Lorenz 1969; Midgley 1984, 65). More recently, at least two popular even books have carriedthis argument and furtherby stressing the "natural" role of so-called evil in "necessary" human and social development (Watson1995; Bloom 1995). Thus, evil is of interest to a wide rangeof social science scholars.Nevertheless,in an extended searchof recent social science, I could find no other authors adopting evil of any form as a historical force in explaining social events. There are authors who see socially perceived evil as something to be considered in social analysis,andwell-known writerswho have used the term as a literary embellishment or rhetorical device to enhance andhighlight theirargument (Tiger 1987). But I could find no credible scholarship relying on the existence of evil as a real and effective force in the world. working with evidence or interpretations drawn from the field of Holocaust studies where historiographic and conceptualdebatesare numerous and typically filled with emotion (Kellner 1994; Kansteiner 1994; Braun 1994; Land 1995). Yet,Adams and Balfour attemptto supporttheir concept of administrativeevil by relying on historical evidence drawn primarilyfrom the Holocaust (ch. 3), and it is for this effort thattheir work has drawnthe most attention. Like all scholarsrelying on historical data and interpretations to test their theories or supporttheir claims, Adams and Balfour must deal with the reality that historical facts do not speak for themselves. Those who researchandwritehistoryacknowledge that there exists an inherent bias in what they choose to study and how they conduct and present their research.And those making use of historical scholarship understand that there exists an equally powerful bias at work in the selection of relevant facts and interpretationsto support their claims. These problems have been openly acknowledged for decades not only by historians,but also by historical sociologists and other social scientists relying on historical analysis (Lustick 1996; Skocpol 1984; Luton 1999). It is the reason most scholars approach historically based claims with care and caution. For decades,Raul Hilbergand others (Hilberg 1992; Browning 1992; Goldhagen 1996) have been documenting the roles played by civil servants and other administrators perin the Holocaust, and Adams petrating and Balfour make use of that data to presenttheircase for the existence of administrative evil. The issue is whether they did so in a credible way-that is, accordingto basic standardsof credible scholarship. Historical Evil Here it is importantto note both The reliance on history to support what Adams and Balfour did do and any scholarly argument is a tricky what they did not do. In addition to business. This is especially truewhen the brutal facts of the Holocaust, Adams andBalfourharnesseda range of well-known historical interpretations in supportof their claims about administrative evil. Withinthe literature of Holocaust studies, their work can be regardedas an extension of an interpretive line that starts with of Hilberg'ssystematicdocumentation the role played by the Germancivil service and is pursuedanalyticallyby Hannah ArendtandZygmuntBauman. Hilberg's researchwas among the first to stress the role of "ordinary" Germansin the Holocaust,andhis relentless mining of previouslyignored recordshas provideda significantinof sightinto the machinery a genocidal regime. What he garnersfrom the researchis the existence of a bureaucratizedlogic of destruction only possible in moder society (Hilberg 1985). Arendt's Eichmann In Jerusalem to was among the first interpretations apply Hilberg's work as she developed her controversialargumentsregardingthe "banalityof evil" pervading Hitler's totalitarianregime. The crime of Eichmann and others was rooted in a "sheer thoughtlessness" (Arendt 1976, 287-8) cultivated by the bureaucratic context withinwhich as functionaries. But they operated Arendt's analysis of the administrative natureof the Holocaust was tempered by facts indicating that the implementation of the "Final Solution" varied from nation to nationin some places it was carriedout with enthusiasm, in others with considerable procrastination. It is Baumanwho articulatesan interpretation closest to Adams and Balfour.The facts and lessons of the Holocaust,he argued,arenot confined to whathappenedto the Jews, or even what took place in Germany under Hitler. They were universal lessons about the logic and power of modernity. "Iproposeto treatthe Holocaust as a rare,yet significantand reliable, test of the hiddenpossibilities of modem society" (Bauman 1989, 12; emphasis in original). His Rousseauean 468 Public Review Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 2000, 60, really no difference between the dence and arguments" (Goldhagen thought processes of Einstein and 1998/1996, 133). Regardlessof one's those of Himmler?" Similarly, was ultimate assessment of Goldhagen's thereno differencebetween the ratio- substantiveclaims, what he presents of nality and technology driving the or- meets the standards crediblescholganization of Germanand American arship challengeable on its warrants concentration camps?(Todorov1990, and merits. The argumentfor admin32). Todorov'squestionscan apply as istrative evil made by Adams and well to the presentationand analysis Balfour also requires such an apof historicalevidence in UAE. proach,but the authorsdo not deliver. As important, however, is what In relying on the Holocaustto supAdams and Balfourdid not do to en- porttheirclaim regardingadministrahance the scholarlycredibilityof their tive evil, AdamsandBalfourtakenote work. The problematicnatureof his- of two popular conceptualframeworks toricalscholarship the demandsof for understandingthe role of public and in scholarlycredibilityin argumentative administrators the Holocaust (i.e., contextsrequiremuchmoreof Adams the "intentional" "functional" and inandBalfourthanmerelycitingauthori- terpretations) judge bothto be useand tative sources.In fact, the contentious ful butinsufficientfor comprehending natureof scholarlydebateswithinHo- what really took place (56-60). They locauststudiesmakesit difficultto des- contend those frameworksdownplay ignate any source as authoritative-a the role played by the administrative situationnot unlikethe generalcondi- evil of technicalrationalityin making tion of most fields associated with agency adaptationto the operational "socio-historical" studies.Under such demandsof the Holocaust so easy to circumstances, any authorassertinga achieve. claimmustputforthcredhistory-based Understandably, hasfocused history ible backingfor its warrants. on the brutality the SS, the Geof But this does not mean it is imposandtheinfamous concentrastapo, sible to make controversial claims tioncamp doctors guards. and Much based on evidence culled from the less attention beengivento the has Holocaust. Here the model to follow thousands publicadministrators of is providedby one of the most debated suchas thosein theFinance Minisworks on the Holocaust, Daniel try who engagedin confiscations, thearmament who inspectors orgaGoldhagen's Hitler's WillingExecunized forced labor,or municipal tioners (1996). Realizing the controauthorities helpedcreateand who versial nature of his argument, maintain ghettosanddeathcamps Goldhagenis carefulto note competand throughout Germany Eastern ing perspectivesand makes efforts to The Europe. destruction theJews of subject them to the same "empirical wasprocedurally indistinguishable tests" he offers in supportof his own from any othermodernorganizacontentions.He reassertsthis position tionalprocess (66; emphasisadded). in a response to his critics issued just Adams and Balfour face no probpriorto publicationof the book's Gerlem in finding historical evidence to man edition,arguingthatthe work "is theirview. But they fail to deal not a polemic aboutGerman'national support theoriesthatcomcharacter'or 'collective guilt.' It is a with the alternative pete, conflict, and even undermine scholarly investigation that offers a new interpretation the Holocaust" theirclaims basedon the same historiof cal data. in its broad sense ... that our moder 1996, ch.15). Goldhagen (Goldhagen Breton and Winthrope(1986), for society is the only one endowed with then faults many of his critics for not reason?"And if we view moder ra- responding to the central issues he example, presenta model that credits and tionality in a narrowsense, "is there raises with "systematic counter-evi- intra-bureau inter-agencycompeSpirited Dialogue469 thesis regardedmodernityand its institutionsas engaged in the "production of moral indifference"and thus anathema to the human capacity to apply pre-social moral judgments. Fromthe tragicfacts of the Holocaust, Baumanderives the foundationsfor a that, "sociologicaltheoryof morality" if appropriately can help developed, us understand contemporary issues well beyond those raisedby the Holocaust itself. The thrust and influence of Bauman's argument is evident throughoutUAE, not merely in specific citations, but in the logic of the argumentitself. Modernityis the key factor in the argumentpresented by Adams and Balfour, just as it is in Bauman's analysis. Bauman, like Adams and Balfour,relies on a "historical force" narrativeto presenthis argument.But his remainsan empirically grounded analysisfocusedon the objectiveof developinga sociological theory that explains how the social foundationsfor morality have disappearedundermodernity,thus making the Holocaust possible. Adams and Balfour,in contrast,use the same evidence to argue for the existence of a historicalforce energizedby the technicalrationality modem society and of powerfulenoughto fulfill its own destructivelogic. In brief, Adams and Balfour extendedthe interpretive historicallogic of Hilberg, Arendt, and Bauman to meet the needs of their distinctiveargument. In pursuinga logic close to Bauman's, however, they have subjected themselves to a criticism leveled at his approach.In an otherwise sympathetic review of Bauman's work, Todorov critiques his inability to make obvious conceptual and historical distinctions as he applied his argument."Is it really possible to believe, if we takethe word 'rationality' tition as the driving force behind administrative involvement. Others stress the capacity of otherwise ordinarypeople to engage in the most vicious and inhumaneacts against others. Sofsky (1996, 240), for example, is straightforward his assumption in is about human nature:"Inhumanity always a humanpossibility. For it to erupt, all that is requiredis absolute license over the other." In Christopher Browning'sstudyof social citizen-soldiers-turned-killers, andpsychological circumstances ruled, butthese were not the productof some modem rationalisticculture. Instead, the membersof thatunit were men at war subject to peer pressure,a siege mentality,and a constant barrageof patrioticand ideological call to arms. "If the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 could become killers under whatgroupof men suchcircumstances, cannot?" (Browning1992, 189). In more direct conflict with the evil claim is administrative Goldhagen's argument that the key to understandingwhy ordinaryGermans willingly engaged in the genocide is found in the unique history and culture of the German people. According to Goldhagen (1996), what drove the Holocaust was not some scientific-analytic mind-set, but a deeply rooted and vicious form of anti-Semitismthat was waiting for someone like Hitler to unleash its destructive energy. Still anotherset of challengesto the administrative evil thesis emerges from several works raising questions aboutthe assumed technicalrationality of the Final Solution.A strongcase can be made for the claim that the Holocaust was implementedwithin a and context of antirationalism irrationalism (Proctor 1988; Harrington 1996). It is not the logic of rationality, but the logic of psychosis that needs to be emphasized. Summarizingthe position of Holocaust historian Saul Glass contends: Friedlander, If the explanationof the Holocaust rests on theoriesof instrumental raon bureaucratic tionality, processing or functionalism, is difficultto see it the instrumentalproperties in gas Rationalchambersandcrematoria. andeconomic concernsmay deity scribe some of the motives behind medicalexperimentsandthe use by Germanindustryof slave labor.But the death of those who perished in gas chambers possessed no functional utility;no economic gains or rational self-interest could be ascribedto the genocide.Annihilation of Jews contributednothing to the war effort; in fact, great resources, railroad stock, was [sic] particularly diverted from both fronts to transportJews to the killingcenters.Bodies thatcould have been instrumental in the war effort ... were gassed and incinerated.It makes no sense a ... to attribute rationalcomponent to these kinds of "special actions" (1997, 162). mentative approaches need to deal with the potentialconsequencesof the logic they use in their presentations. There are two concerns: The work's "internal" logic-that is, the impactof its narrativeon the reader's conclusions-and its "external" logic-that is, the potentialfor misuse of the authors' narrativesand claims. The Internal Logic As noted previously, Adams and Balfour develop a narrative that is of drivenby theircharacterization administrative evil as an autonomous historical force emerging from modernity'stechnical rationalityculture. By using the word "evil" and conceptfrom detachingthis particular Adams humanchoice andmotivations, andBalfourmakeit easy for thereader evil to thinkof administrative as a suforce-a perspectivereinpernatural that forcedby the narrative unfoldsin chapters4 though 6. The story told in those chapters weaves a plotline thattakesthe reader from Hitler's war effort to the fateful decision to launchthe Challengerand then to currentU.S. defense, welfare reform,and immigrationpolicies. When attempting to describe the underlying narrativein this story to others,I have found it useful to compare the book with a movie released at aboutthe same time. In Fallen, actor Denzel Washington plays John Hobbes,a police detectivewho attends the execution of EdgarReese, a serial killer he helped put behind bars. In a final confrontation with Hobbes, Reese reaches out to touch his nemesis and, failing to do so, eventually settles for contact with a guard preparing him for the execution. As it turns out, the body of the person being executed that day is merely the holding containerfor Azazel, a fallen angel and the embodiment of evil cursedto roamthe earthwithoutform. Reese dies, but Azazel continues to conduct his evil business by entering new bodies. What is important about each of to these alternatives the administrative evil argumentis the substantialeffort made by theiradvocatesto justify and validatetheirclaimswithevidenceand warrants. Comparatively, supportable UAE'sprimaryclaim aboutthe existevil stands on ence of administrative very weak grounds. Responsible Argumentation The standards judgingscholarly for involve morethancredargumentation There is an ethical dimension ibility. as well, reflectingthe sense thatscholars must apply their rhetoricalskills responsibly (Aristotle 1991, 35-6; Cmiel 1990, 24-6). As with credibilof are ity, standards responsibility field and in scholarly commudependent; nities they are set forth in normative expectations regarding everything from data-gathering procedures to styles of presentation (Cross 1996; Cole 1992). Scholars who explicitly use argu- Review 470 Public Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 2000, 60, Although receiving mediocre reviews and finding a small audience, Fallen did gamer some accolades for its intellectualized plot-it was a person's"horrormovie that "thinking avoided the gore of more popular films of that genre. The idea that evil inhabitsthe earthandsurvivesby possessing the bodies of ordinarypeople without their knowing seemed to work because it felt familiar-not only as a scenario for a movie but as a theologized explanationfor the horrific behavior of serial killers and mass murderers. In UAE, the administrative evil of Hitler's regime is passed on to the Wernervon Braun team of German rocketscientiststhroughtheirassociation with actions "forwhich othersin postwar Germanywere convicted of war crimes" (74). Operations at the infamous concentration camp at Mittelbau-Dorawere directly linked to weaponsproduction efforts,including the V-2 program. Adams and Balfour focus on the use of slave labor and deaths at that location and at the Peenemiindesite whereV-2 operations were housed earlier in the war. The evidence shows substantial involvement by von Braunin decisions related to operationsat those sitesinvolvement that made him and his team members agents of administrative evil. But the U.S. military'spursuit of its technical rational goals "blinded" Americandecisionmakkey ersto issues raisedby thatinvolvement (105). Thus, by bringingthat team to the UnitedStates,ourgovernment was the transferof adessentially aiding ministrative to the U.S. militaryevil and eventuallyto the space program. Based in Marshall Space Flight Center,von Braun's team created an administrative culture fostering a managerial style rootedin technicalrathatwas instilledin thosewho tionality rose throughthe ranksat NASA to top positions.Ultimately,whatemergesat Marshalland"NASAmoregenerally" is a "destructive organizational dy- namic"thatAdams andBalfoureventuallylink to the decisionto launchthe Challenger Shuttle. Administrative evil was at work in NASA. As someone familiar with studies of the Challenger disaster,I admit I found this entire narrativemore than a bit fantasticandquitedisturbing. Just as disturbing is this quote from the to concluding paragraph their analysis indicatingthatthe authorsrealized how far they had taken the logic of theirnarrative: Thedestructive culorganizational ture manifested during that itself and beforeChallenger lives at unput risk.It wouldbe unfair necessary and unwarranted connectChalto and lengerwiththe unmasked esadministrative sentially transparent evil demonstrated Mittlebauat DoraandPeenemunde. Operations Overcast and Paperclip [which broughtthe von Braun team to America], policiesof theU.S. goveachabetting administraernment, tive evil, represent only an ironic connectionto later events at the Marshall SpaceFlightCenterand withChallenger. Whatever administrative canbe legitimately evil attributed Marshall of the typito is calorganizational in variety ourtime andin ourculture. is opaque It and andno onecanbe identicomplex, fied withevil intentions. is well It masked (133-4; emphasis added). The narrative'slogic is extended (ch. 6) beyond the space programas Adams andBalfourlink the cultureof technicalrationality Americanpubin lic policy making on a wide range of issues to the spreadof administrative evil. Defense policies, Clinton's welfare reforms, restrictiveimmigration policies, efforts to dismantleaffirmative action-all are picturedas manifestations of administrativeevil, despite the authors'periodicinjectionof qualifying statements. For example, after making an explicit comparison between Nazi portrayalof Jews and the portrayalof welfare recipients in the debate over reform, Adams and Balfour stress that their point "is not to say that those who advocate a particularapproach welfarereformare to Nazis or have genocidal intent,but to highlight the dangers inherentin the approachthattacitly defines and then dehumanizes a surplus population" (149). Adams and Balfour's pattern of warning readers against the obvious conclusions of their arguments is a fundamental flaw found throughout the book. The following may be the ultimateexample: Despitewhatmayinitiallyseemto be a negative treatment thepubof lic service,it is notourintention to somehow diminish adminispublic bashtration, engagein bureaucrat or give credence misguided to ing, that governmentsand arguments their arenecessarily inheror agents evil. In fact,ouraimis quite ently the opposite: get beyondthe suto perficial critiques and lay the for groundwork a moreethicaland democratic public administration, onethatrecognizes potential its for evilandthereby creates greater possibilities for avoiding the many pathwaystowardstate-sponsored dehumanization destruction and (5). It is hardto take this disclaimer seriously by the time one completeschapter 6. Therearethose who would contend thatit is the reader'sresponsibilitynot to read too much into a work. I am among those who take seriously the counsel of Robert Graves and Alan Hodge thatwritersmust conducttheir work as if the readeris looking over their shoulder (Graves and Hodge 1979). Had Adams and Balfour followed that advice, a quite differentand perhapsmore convincing-argument might have emerged. The External Logic While scholarlyarguments typiare conductedwithinacademiccomcally munities, there is a more general social contextto consider.In some fields Spirited Dialogue471 where research is policy-relevant or the market-relevant, fact thatthe generalcommunitymight be interestedin certain research findings has had an impact on everythingfrom the selection of titles to the timing and wording of scholarlywork. Adams and Balfour are not naive on this point. They hope their work will not only increase awareness of administrative evil, but also result in of the culturalchanges necadoption essary to preemptthe emerging dangers of a statewedded to technical-rational problem solving. This is the primaryfocus of the seventhandfinal chapterin UAEwhere the authorscall for the creation of a new communitarian-basedcultural foundation for administrative ethics. But the authorsseem indifferentto the possibilitythatotherprescriptions andlessons mightbe drawnfromtheir presentation. Disclaimers notwithstanding, Adams and Balfour have generated an argumentopen to misand abuse. It is a logic interpretation that can be used to demonize those who are contaminated by the evil forces they unknowingly serve. One lesson of the Oklahoma City bombing is that public administratorscan easily become a stigmatized population, subject to the worst forms of scapegoatingand targetedfor violent action(Douglas 1995; Goffman1963; MacCormack 1993; Douglas 1992; Herzfeld 1992). Withinthe context of a political culturepredisposed to bureaucracybashing, the association of public administratorswith a pernicious and pervasive form of evil can prove to be a thoughtless (albeit unintended) act. I am not advocating that our colleaguesavoidpublishingcontroversial claimsormoderate theirviews. Rather, therearecertainissues andthemesthat requireconsiderationof possible misuse by some part of the work's general readership. Anti-Semitic Revisionists, for example, have taken advantage of one well-known historian'sblunt statementsthatthere was no firm evidence gas chambers were used in Auschwitz or thatHitler knew of the Holocaust (Rosenbaum 1998, ch. 12). We ought to be aware thatour audiencesometimesincludes the Theodore Kaczynskis and Timothy McVeighs of the world-and structure argumentsaccordingly. our Comments Concluding As is commonpracticewith a book of this sort, the back cover contains quotes from severalprominentscholars attestingto the virtues of UAE.It is an award-winningbook. But it is also a book thatchallenges some fundamentalstandardsof scholarshipin a way that can only do harm to our field. This assessmentis noteasy to make, for both authorsare in fact extremely competentmembersof our field who have several notable-I would even suggest "classic"-works to their credit.As I contemplatedthis review, I triedto understand how a work with such flaws could have emerged from theirpartnership, how it received and so many accoladesandawards.I have no firm answersto offer,butI do have three comments derived from some speculationsaboutthe writingandreception of UAE. My initial speculation is that the concept of administrative evil was developed as a rhetorical device to enhance the presentationof the modernity thesis. Perhaps the concept took on a logical life of its own that drove the book's presentation.Their decision to follow thatlogic reflected their opinion of the larger audience theirbook wouldreach.As it turnsout, this was a Faustianpactthatpaid dividends,but at a significantcost in terms of scholarlycredibility. A second speculationalso relatesto the previousworkof the authors. Both Adams andBalfourhave been leaders in an influential movement among PublicAdministration theoriststo pro- mote a more "diverse" approachto researchin the field. The issue is epistemological, and the solutions advocated by Adams, Balfour, and others (White and Adams 1994) include opening scholarshipin the field to interpretive and critical theory approaches as well as to positivist research. In a sense, with UAE, the authors were practicing what they preached. But scholarship is not an "anythinggoes" endeavor.There are standards be takeninto account,and to while these may vary from field to field and over time within each field, they must be addressedif a workis to be regarded as credible and responsible. My thirdspeculationrelates to the positive receptionUAEreceivedfrom individualsandorganizeddivisions in the field. On this point, I suspectboth the subjectmatteras well as the reputation of the authorswere the determining factors.While othershadconfronted the issue of public administration's in the Holocaust, role Adams and Balfour seemed to be the first within our field to tackle it from a Public Administrationperspective. But Adams and Balfour added nothof ing new to our understanding the Holocaust.Their analysis was not designed to generate a greater understandingof the Holocaust, but to use what was known about it as a means for promotingtheir distinctiveclaims aboutmodem public administration. Therearemany lessons to be culled from UAEaboutthe stateof theoryand researchin our field. Most of the issues raisedby UAE are not uniqueto thatworkor its authors,but arerooted in Public Administration's inability (unwillingness?) to develop a disciplinaryidentitythat would give some grounding for appropriatescholarly standards. 472 Public Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 Review 2000, 60, Notes 1. I am indebted to Jonathan Justice, Randa Dubnick, Larry Luton, and JonathanInz for their comments and reactions. 2. Here I follow the convention of capitalizing public administration when referringto the academic field-and using lower case to refer to the practice. 3. The National Academy of Public Administration's 1998 Louis Brownlow Award and the 1998 Best Book Award from the Academy of Management's Public and Nonprofit ManagementDivision. 4. Those who study classical rhetoric would quickly point out that rhetoric and argumentation cannot be used as Here I accept the view of synonyms. ChaimPerelman's"new rhetoric"approachthatfocuses on argumentation. See Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca 1969. 5. Hood andJackson1991, especially,ch. 2; see Simon 1946. This reliance on and argumentation rhetoriccan be attributed,in part,to the field's ongoing "identitycrisis" that creates a schizophrenic life for academics constantly torn between the demands of professionalismanddisciplinaryscholarship. The professional commitmentsstress our roles as advocates,reformers,and the trainersof public service practitioners. Disciplinary obligations require adherence to the same standards of scholarship as our colleagues in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The tension manifests itself in many differentways, including ambiguity when attempting to assess the published work of our peers. See Dubnick 1999. 6. Also see Elgin 1996, especially ch. IV. 7. The work of Melanie Klein, regarded as the founder of the object-relations approach,representsjust one of several strands of this psychoanalytic school. For a contrastingperspective, see the work of DonaldWinnicott;see Minsky 1999, chs. 2 and 3 on Klein and Winnicottrespectively. Melvin Dubnick a professor publicadminJ. is of istration politicalscienceat Rutgers and UniverHe and aboutaccountsity-Newark. writes teaches From1991-96 ethics,and civiceducation. ability, he served as managing editor of PAR.Email: dubnick@mediaone. net References Amado,Gilles. 1995.WhyPsychoanalytic Knowledge Helps Us UnderstandOrganizations:A Discussion with Elliott Jaques.HumanRelations 48(4): 3517. Arendt, Hannah. 1976. Eichmann in Jerusalem:A Report on the Banality Penof Evil,revisededition.New York: guin Books. Aristotle. 1991. OnRhetoric:A Theoryof CivicDiscourse. Translated George by A. Kennedy.New York:Oxford University Press. Bauman,Zygmunt. 1989. Modernityand the Holocaust. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UniversityPress. Bloom, Howard K. 1995. The Lucifer Principle:A ScientificExpeditioninto the Forces of History. New York:Atlantic MonthlyPress. 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Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science. New York:PicadorUSA. Tiger, Lionel. 1987. The Manufactureof Evil: Ethics, Evolution,and the Industrial System. New York: Harper and Row. Todorov,Tzvetan. 1990. MeasuringEvil. TheNew Republic.March 19, 30-3. Toulmin, Stephen Edelston. 1958. The Uses of Argument. Cambridge, UK: CambridgeUniversity Press. A Watson, Lyall. 1995.DarkNature: Natural History of Evil. New York:Harper Collins Publishers. White, Jay D., and Guy B. Adams, eds. 1994. Research in Public Administration: Reflectionson Theoryand Practice. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. A New Concept Vivifying the need to unmask and to further explore the concept of administrative evil cannot be underestimated. Guy Adams and Danny Balfour have unveiled a previously unexplored notion in Public Administration (PA), one that deserves the spirited dialogue that has been unleashed here. I begin by briefly outlining the key concepts in the book, moving from there to some discussion and examples of how the ideas encapsulated in Unmasking Administrative Evil might flow beyond the PA space. From there, this essay offers some suggestions as to how this H. Margaret Vickers, University Australia of Western Sydney, 474 Public Administration e September/October Vol. No.5 Review 2000, 60, work might be strengthenedand extended, with the final section being saved for an energetic retort to Dubnick's questions about the credibility of Adams and Balfour's work. First, Unmasking Administrative Evil is a very good read.The primacy of researchbeing readableshould not be underestimated: researchthatis not does notget read. palatable, frequently, ButAdamsandBalfourhave provided us with somethingfar beyond "interesting." This is not, as Dubnick has scornfullysuggested,merelya "popular" piece or a work of rhetoric,nor does it presenta "hollow conceptualization of evil." This is a work that vivifies the importantand necessary task of fundamentallyrethinkingthe PA fixation on technical rationality (xiv) by portraying,in a stimulating and provocative fashion, one of PA's potentiallynastieroutcomes-administrativeevil. Adams andBalfourargue,initially, that evil involves the knowing and deliberateinflicting of pain and suffering on others(xxi). Moreover,they arguethatevil can also exist whenpain and sufferingis inflicted, with perpetratorsdoing so withoutknowing that their actions are evil. They are doing evil because it is theirjob, because it is the law, or because they have been instructed do so for the greatergood to evil-evil (xxi). This is administrative thathas been socially packagedas bebehavior ing normal and appropriate (xxi), and therein lays its danger. Whilst administrative evil may not necessarily be a new phenomenon,it is newly identified, hence the accolades and awards. The four key argumentsof Adams and Balfour's book (4) are clearly articulated: First, the problems of the technical-rational mind-set as an approachto social andpoliticalproblems enablesa new andfrighteningformof evil-administrative evil-which is of special concern in that it is masked, making it easy for ordinarypeople to engage in it without intending to do so. Secondly, the masked nature of administrative allows for those so evil to redefine the evil act as engaged something good and worthy.Adams and Balfourdescribethis as a "moral inversion"(4). Thirdly,two of administrativeevil's favored masks are examined: one, that people engage in patternsandactivitiesof evil thatthey are unawareof; and two, that social and public policies can culminate in evil as administrators pursue instrumentalortechnical(as opposedto ethical) goals. Fourth,those engaging in administrativeevil are professionals thatmay be blindedby the public service and professional ethics that are anchored in the scientific-analytic mind-set, which generally requiresa technical-rational to approach administrativeor social problems. Adams and Balfour address these questions by examining a numberof historical events. For example, the devastation of the Holocaust is explored as something incrementally achieved throughlegislative and administrativechanges (60). The organizational problems at the Marshall Space Flight Center resulted in the treatment of the O-Ring failure on Challengeras an acceptableflightrisk (117) through a series of dangerous, incremental administrative shifts.The of evil via U.S. publicpolicy masking andits implementation, required as by Overcast and Paperclip, Operations resulted in the questionableentry of the von Braun team to the United States (105). Addressing the problems of the technical-rational approach to "messy" administrativeproblems is not new (See, Cohen, March, and Olsen 1972; Rittel andWebber1973). AdamsandBalfourare,similarly, concerned with the ultimate difficulties that arise from a continued reliance and acceptanceof the "engineer'sapproach"of common sense, ingenuity, and rationality, especially in policy making and implementation. However, whatAdams andBalfouroffer is a new perspectiveon evil and administrativeprocesses and outcomes, and it is that which is so valuableto practitionersand scholarsof PA. Administrative Evil:BeyondPublic Administration The taskof exposingadministrative evil is not a quest that should be restrictedto PA. Maskedadministrative evil is evident in both the public and private spheres. When one reflects, one can see numerous examplesof evil cloaked by ontological, ideological, andnormativeorganizational assumptions. For administrative evil to lurk, deathsdo not have to occur. For example, the phenomenon of downsizingis now considerednormal businesspractice(Orlando1999, 295) in both public and private organizations and, yet, has a profound (and nasty) effect on individuals, workplaces, families, and whole communities. Whilst no shots are fired nor gas ovens ignited, downsizing frequentlyhas a huge and traumaticimpact on those touched by it. Actors performing downsizingmay do so, not because they enjoy inflicting pain on others, nor because they are mindlessly doing what they are told. Actors may come to believe thata "lean" organizationis a "healthy"organization, andthatefficiencyis "good."The impacts of the management theory industry, managerialism, and economic rationalismhave been widely documented and are largely responsible for shapingsuch beliefs and subsequentbehaviors.Euphemismssubmerge the reality, as sacked workers are "downsized,""separated," "unassigned," and "proactivelyoutplaced" (Micklethwaitand Wooldridge 1996, 11). Indeed, the human cost of is managerialism rarelycounted(Rees and Rodley 1995). Adams and Balfour also articulate the problematicbut common practice of equating the law with ethical beSpirited Dialogue475 havior(165). They arguethatpersonal conscience is subordinated to the structures of authority, with conscience being regardednegatively as subjectiveand personal,whilst structures of authority are objective and public (166) and, thus, more deserving. They note, when referringto the Holocaust,the problemof familiarand commonplace micro-level processes gettingout of hand,becomingembeddedin habit,routine,andtradition (58). Similarly,with workplacediscrimination and harassment, one finds that those who witness discriminatory practices become desensitized. The process of sanitizingdescriptionsand representationsof fear is also commonplacein organizations(Fulopand Rifkin 1997, 57). For those who dare to disagree or voice dissent,concentration camplife and organizational whistleblowing take on chilling resemblances. The end" (78) of Dora Con"catastrophic centrationCamp depicted the SS response to acts of resistance. These ranged from a series of public hangings, to the execution of all those who lived in the barrackswith the rebels (53 Russian prisoners, nearly all of whom were killed after trying to escape). Similarly,the repercussionsof voicing objections to workplace discriminationor violence can result in public character assassinations, threats,andvictimization(of the complainantsandtheircolleagues),as well as ill health, nervous breakdowns, paranoia,and debilitatingfear (Fulop and Rifkin 1997, 48-50). Finally, Adams and Balfour draw our attention to several important policy-relatedfictions thathave ramificationsbeyondPA.They suggestthat technicallyrationalsolutionsto messy problems may yield "policies of destruction" (136). The myth thatpolicy will solve ouradministrative problems and that administratorswill be held accountablefor their actions (136) is by underpinned rationalist assumptions that solutionsand satisfactoryconclu- sions can be reached,onejust needs to arriveat the "right" policy. They have vivified the notion that cause and effect are shifting, chaotic, and unpredictable constructs and that, sometimes, the solutions themselves produce serendipitous consequences (137). Looking beyond the horrorof AuschwitzandDora,one can see that, sometimes, the actual outcomes of policy intended to assist and protect those marginalized in organizations produce unintended effects. For example, despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the of withdisabiliproportion individuals ties who areworkingactuallydeclined between 1986 and 1994 (Klimoskiand Donohue 1997). from SomeSuggestions the of theWorld Edge Followingare,hopefully,some constructivesuggestionsthatmight assist evil with the conceptof administrative to flourish. First, Adams continuing andBalfourbrieflycommentthattheir argumentsabout administrativeevil may hold for other professions (5). Contemplation of the "professional evil" (if that is what one might term it) thatmight smolderin organizations and societies is anotherpowerful and provocative milieu ripe for exploration. For example, how might one regardthe withholdingof diagnosticor prognosticinformationfrom patients by medicalpractitioners-the code of silence (Konner1993, 5)-which has, until very recently,been routinein the West?Whatcould be more evil, more threateningto a person's rights than to conceal informationthat is at once so momentousandso personal? Attention might also be turnedto the symbolic (and magical) functions of "whitecoats, antisepticenvironments, ambulances and insurance" (Illich 1975, 53) in theircapacityto mask or construct evil outcomes, especially and wheredependence powerrelations are known to exist. Second, Adams and Balfour have raised, on a numberof occasions, the and questionof modernity its influence on administrative They predicaments. ask, "How is it that we appearunable to thinkourway out of modernitysufficiently to produce anything other thanephemeralresults?" (50). The absence of any commentary fromAdams and Balfour on the question of what (if any) relevance the postmodernistperspective might offer would seem to be a small, but germane, oversight. One of the positive outcomes of adopting a postmodern perspectiveis the pursuitof justice for those who are marginalized (Farmer 1997; 1998). For example, Farmer's (1998) concept, "Anti-Administration," whilst not precluding a modernist perspective, offers one approach to the problems of affording justice in organizational life, especially for those who aremarginalized. Given Adams and Balfour's concern for the Nazi murder of "outsiders" and "undesirables" (55), one might at least consider the possible benefits that a postmodern perspective may offer. Further, given the emphasis made in Unmasking Administrative Evil on the profound and immutable implicationsof modernity(49), especially the critique of the problematic relianceon purelyscientific endeavor and technical-rational thought, one would think that mention of the path from modernity to modernism, postmodernism, and poststructuralism (see Crotty 1998, 184 ff) might be of value. Some comment on the disappearanceof consensus (Connor 1989, 10), analyses of knowledge and power (Foucault 1961; Foucault 1977), and discussions of the postmodernist suspicion of the metanarratives of modern life (Lyotard1979) would also seem most apposite. author who Finally,as anAustralian regularlywrites from the "edgeof the world"(as definedby Clegg, Linstead, and Sewell 1999), Adams and 476 Public Review Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 2000, 60, Balfour'sfocus on NorthAmericanPA is regarded somethingof a problem, as especially given that the Holocaust took place in Europe.Whilst not defromthe essence of theirwork, tracting the need to recognize and celebrate difference and diversity in thought, experience, and intellectualendeavor cannotbe underestimated. Adams For and Balfourto avoid being viewed as North American ethnocentrics, they should, at the very least, expandtheir historicalpurviewto include otherareas of the Westernworld.Fortunately, this oversight does little to diminish the value of this work. TheQuestion Credibility of Before concluding, one is compelled to provide a vigorous retortto Dubnick's relentless and sometimes vitriolic attackon Unmasking Administrative Evil's worth, specifically in terms of its scholarshipand credibility. Most of us would recognize that social researcherschoose from alternativeapproaches, eachwiththeirown set of philosophicalassumptions, principles, and stances on how to conduct research (Neuman 1997, 60). However, the issue, accordingto Dubnick, is whetherAdams and Balfour have presentedtheirevidence "ina credible way - thatis, accordingto basic standardsof credible scholarship." If one accepts that there is some worth to interpretive, critical, and postmodern perspectives and paradigms, anddoes not acceptpositivism or idealized logic as determinative,a definitiveset of "standards credible of scholarship"would seem an elusive goal. However, Dubnick appearsunconcernedby the ongoing existenceof the "positivistchallenge"(Sarantakos with 1993, 4), as he assureshis reader, breathtaking certainty,of the profundityof logic, especially"if-then" logic, assertingthata credibleclaim calls for qualifiersandwarrants. Perhapsironiremindsone cally,Dubnick'scertainty of the elusive natureof truth: It is only minordecisions, upon whichnothing greatimportance of that can proceedserenely hangs, from suchdetached deliberation: the criticaldilemmasof the genuine, individual's life-and to individuals alonewere Kierkegaard real-are notsolvedby intellectual of exploration factsnorof thelaws of thinking about them.Their resolutions conflicts and emerge through tumults the soul,anxieties, in agoof nies, perilousadventures faith intounknown territories. realThe one'sexistence ityof every proceeds thusfromthe"inwardness" man of [sic], not from anythingthat the mind can codify, for objectified is at knowledge always oneormore removedfrom the truth."Truth," saidKierkegaard, subjectivity" "is 1948/1973, (Mairet 6). The facts and truthsthatDubnick desires are a rarecommodity.Researchers' interpretations bias are worand thy andimportant partsof the research process. What one ought to do is to acknowledge one's limitations and seek an approachthat helps us to answer our research question (Crotty 1998, 216). Dubnickhas, unquestionably, reignited the debate: "We can apply some idealized logic (such as, logical positivism) to claims made by our colleagues, but in the process we arelikely to find ourselvesreestablishing and reinforcingthe same epistemological and methodological divisions that have plagued our field for the past half-century." For some, such divisions (which I would call distinctions) are not a plague, but accepted and necessary It constituents. is widely paradigmatic that social researchis "no recognized longer a uniformbody of theory and researchbased on positivism only, as it was in the past, but a body of diverse methodologies with diverse theoretical backgroundsand diverse methods and techniques,all of which appear to be considered equally acceptable,equallyvalid andequallylegitimate"(Sarantakos1993, 4). Recognizing the potential difficulties of alienating those not enamoured with logical positivism, Dubnick resolves the problem with the following advice: "A more productive approachinvolves the application of standards derived from a 'workinglogic' relevantto the scholarly functions of the field." Working logic, he argues, uses standards applied in real life conditions, with credibilitybeing determinedby practitioners who rely upon their own "working logic" to determine what is acceptable or not acceptable. "Winning"administrativeideas, it is suggested, are rarely profound, being acceptable as repackaged and relabeled versions of an idea previously advanced many times before. The recommendationthat a piece of work or a new idea ought to be judged only by the acceptedstandards of a field is most disquieting. One might ask, on what basis might any new idea gain a toehold under such anti-intellectual conditions? Whilstnot the value of the practical, eschewing one must never underestimate the problemsof ideology (indeed,institutional or academicpelmanism) when it comes to the study of the workings of public (or private)organizations.If one agrees to accepted standardsas Dubnick suggests, one might never expect the individual practitioneror the field to grow. Finally, Dubnick claims that standardsof responsibility field depenare dent, set forth as normativeexpectations regardingeverything from data gatheringproceduresto styles of presentation.I disagree.As a writerfrom the edge of the world, I am continually confronted with differences in suchexpectations, withinandbetween cultural individuals,fields, paradigms, and,most obviously,journals. settings, the Certainly, positivist,managerialist, empirical perspective has a notable stranglehold in many management, organizational, and public management arenas, but it would seem that Spirited Dialogue477 such expectationsare shiftingand,in- Farmer,David J. 1997. The Postmodern Leichhardt, Sydney, Australia: Pluto Turn and the Socratic Gadfly. In PressAustralia. to challenge. creasingly,open Postmodernism,"Reality"and Public Rittel, Horst W. J., and Melvin Webber. This reader is not left wondering Administration: Discourse, editedby A 1973. Dilemmas in a GeneralTheory about the contributionof Unmasking Administrative Evil. I applaud the ef- forts of those preparedto proffertheir ideas (with all the attendantrisks that this implies), especially those who resist the continued nagging for data anddeterminism,and who encourage discussion, thought and debate. Unmasking Administrative Evil is a step forward for all scholars concerned with the machinations of organizational life, offering what must be the essence of scholarly work-a new idea and a new vantage point from which to view it. H. with Ph.D.,is a lecturer the Margaret Vickers, of Australia. pubShe University Western Sydney, lisheswidelyon the subjectof trauma organiin zational life, includingher forthcoming Silent of Voices:Memoirs Lifeand Workwith Unseen Chronic Illness London, 2001). She is (Routledge, also on the editorial board of the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org References Adams, Guy B., and Danny L. Balfour. 1998. Unmasking Administrative Evil. Thousand andNew Oaks,CA, London, Delhi: Sage Publications. Clegg, Stewart, Stephen Linstead, and GrahamSewell. 1999. Only Penguins: A Polemic on Organization Theory from the Edge of the World.The Australianand New ZealandAcademy of TasConference,Hobart, Management mania,Australia,1-4 Dec, 1-21. Cohen,M. D., J. G. March,andJ. P.Olsen. 1972. A GarbageCan Model of OrganizationalChoice. Administrative Science Quarterly17(1): 1-25. CulConnor,Steven. 1989.Postmodernist ture:An Introduction Theoriesof the to Contemporary. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd. Crotty,Michael. 1998. The Foundations of Social Research:Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process. Allen and Unwin. Sydney,Australia: Mel. 2000. The Case forAdminDubnick, istrative Evil: A Critique.Public AdministrationReview 60(5): 464-74. Hugh T. Miller and Charles J. Fox. Burke,Virginia:ChatelainePress. .1998. Introduction: Listening to OtherVoices. In Papers on the Art of edited by David Anti-Administration, John Farmer.Burke, Virginia: Chatelaine Press. Foucault, Michel. 1961. Madness and Civilization.London:TavistockPublications. . 1977.Disciplineand Punish: The Birthof the Prison. New York:Vintage Books. Fulop, Liz, and William Rifkin. 1997. RepresentingFear in Learningin Organizations. Management Learning 28(1): 45-63. Illich, Ivan. 1975. Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health. London: MarionBoyars. Klimoski, Richard, and Lisa Donahue. 1997. HR Strategies for Integrating Individuals with Disabilities into the WorkPlace.HumanResourceManagementReview 7(1): 109-38. Konner,Melvin. 1993. The Troublewith Medicine.Sydney,Australia: ABC Enterprises. Lyotard, Jean-Francois. 1979. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Manchester:Manchester University Press. Mairet, Philip. 1948/1973. Introduction. In Existentialismand Humanism,edited by Jean-Paul Sartre.London:Eyre MethuenLimited. Micklethwait, John, and Adrian Doctors: Wooldridge.1996. The Witch Whatthe ManagementGurusare Saying, Whyit Mattersand How to Make Sense of It. London:MandarinPaperbacks. Neuman,W. Lawrence. 1997. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.3rded. Boston:Allyn and Bacon. Orlando,John. 1999. The FourthWave: The Ethics of CorporateDownsizing. Business Ethics Quarterly9(2): 295314. Rees, Stuart,and Gordon Rodley. 1995. The Human Costs of Managerialism: Advocatingthe Recoveryof Humanity. of Planning.Policy Sciences4(2): 15569. Sarantakos, Sotirios. 1993. Social Research. South Melbourne:MacMillan EducationAustraliaPty Ltd. Unmasking Administrative Evil: The Book and Its Critics Hubert Locke, G. of University Washington In 1987, in preparation for a paper that was delivered at the International Conference on the Holocaust at Oxford the following year, I mailed a brief questionnaire to a sample of prominent names in the field of public administration and public policy. My mailing list consisted of a random selection of authors of some of the standard introductory texts in the field, several dozen prominentnames from the membership of the American Society of Public Administration, a dozen or so authors of essays in the Journal of Public Policy and Management and, for good measure, a few well-known academics who are members of the National Academy of Public Administration. I asked this group whether, in the course of their teaching courses in public administration, they ever had occasion to make reference to the slaughter of the European Jewish populace that occurred under German National Socialism during World War II, whether any of their research or publications focused on this topic and whether, in their opinion, the topic had any relevance for the field of public administration. I received a gratifying number of responses to my informal inquiry. As I recall, in all but three cases, the respondents indicated they had never 478 Public Administration * September/October Vol. No.5 Review 2000, 60, had occasion to referto the Holocaust [as it is generally termed] in their teaching. No one noted the event as an arenaof research A interest. surprisnumberacknowledgedthat ingly large the Holocaust does likely have relevance for the study of public administration;a few respondents expressed some embarrassment they hadnot that to given attention the questionat some earlierpointin theirwork.Onerespondent even thankedme for raising the issue. For the sake of those who insist on having somethingto count before any assertion can have validity, I should underscorethe non-empirical natureof my inquiry.It was an unscientific but, as it turnedout, quite revealing sampleof academicleadersin the field whichconfirmedmy assumption thatthe issue of the Holocausta decade and a half ago-had an insignificant impact, to put the matter charitably,on the field of public administrationand policy. A decade later, Guy Adams and Danny Balfour produced the first American study to take up the question of the Holocaustandthe problem of public administrationand public policy. The primaryfocus of their inquiry turns out to be public administration-rather than public policyalthough it is virtually impossible to follow their argumentwithoutrecognizing its equally significantimplications for public policy, as well. That argumentis clearly and cogently set of forth:one of the hallmarks the modern era, the authorsassert,is a certain scientific-analytical mind-set and a belief in technological progress that can be termed technical rationality. in Technicalrationality, turn,has come its by-productswhat to have as one of AdamsandBalfourcall administrative evil-a phenomenon which is both depictedin andmasked(hencethe title of the book) by the fact that many people in moder organizationslack the capacity to recognize when they are "knowingly and deliberately inflict[ing]painandsufferingon other humanbeings"(xix). This self-deception, aided andabettedby the fact that moder organizations compartmentalize roles andfunctionsand diffuse individualresponsibilities,leads to one of the great moral inversions of our time, of which the Holocausthas been one of the twentiethcentury'sprincipal manifestations. Anyone who is in the slightest degree acquaintedwith the events that transpiredin Europe between 1933 and 1945-particularly the fateful years of the war itself (1939-45), will recognize the extentto which the Holocaust is, in fact, a paradigmof the Adams-Balfour thesis. We know enough, and in sufficient detail, regarding the administrativeand organizational features of the Nazi State and especially regardingthe machinthat-after a period ery of annihilation of implementation-by-groping about-was finally put in place to assertthatthe policy of endlosung-the so-called "final solution"of the Jewish question-was nothingif not technical rationalityat its most efficient and effective best. It is especially ironic that the final solution should take place as the official policy of the nation that first gave both theoretical formandprofessionalsubstanceto the field of public administration! The conceptof evil, as even Adams and Balfouracknowledge,is one that does notresteasily withprofessorsand in practitioners the field of public administration,in spite of the fact that evil is not a foreign idea in the social sciences. Evil-administrative or otherwise-would seem to be a termwith whichpoetsandtheologianstussle,not seriousscientists.The termevil would appearto lack the empiricalprecision necessaryfor a meaningfuldescription of human behavior. It certainly presents an embarrassment a field that to itself on its objective analysis prides of andunderstanding the processesby which the impartial,even-handed,efficient management of government and its policies are carriedout. To the average (in contrastto the academic)mind,however,administrative evil is the one (perhapsthe only) word that authenticallydescribes the processby which some five to six million people were systematically rousted from their homes and either marchedto the edge of their villages where they were shot or, if they were fromurbanareas,herdedinto ghettoes, transported to killing centers, and gassed, their bodies reducedto ashes andtheirexistenceobliterated fromthe face of the earth. To examine this process as it was carriedout by Germancivil servants acting on behalf of a government which seized power andfollowing the conventional rules of bureaucratic managementis to witness, for many, the moraloutrageof the twentiethcentury.Why, it may be asked, did it take Americanscholarsin the field of public administration over fifty years to finally acknowledgethe field's role in the unfoldingeventsof the Holocaust? And why, once done, should that accome undersuchfierce knowledgment attack? As to the first question,it turnsout that public administration is only slightly more tardy in its self-examinationthan a numberof otherprofessional fields, many of which have yet to look at themselvesas professionsin contrast with accountsof theirfields writtenby practitionersor historians. Alan Beyerchen (1977) wrote an excellent analysis of the response of the German physics community to the ThirdReich. RobertEricksen's(1985) penetrating study of the theological facultyat the Universityof Goettingen is an importantpart of an exhaustive examinationof the role of clergy and religiousintellectualsduringthe Third Reich. George Annas and Michael Grodin,membersof the medical faculty at Boston Universitypublisheda study in 1992 of medical experimentationunderthe Nazis, following Robert Jay Lipton's monumental study, Nazi Doctors (1986). So it has only Spirited Dialogue479 been in the last quarter the past cen- death. What really disturbsDubnick, of that scholars have begun to take however, is the use by Adams and tury intensive looks at their fields; the re- Balfourof a notion or concept that,in sults have been uniformly negative. Dubnick's view, has no validity as a The fields of law and business have "historicalforce in explaining social yet to undertakesuch inquiries,while events." "Inan extendedsearchof rethe Germanacademic community as cent social science,"he writes,"Icould a whole has totally escaped any seri- find no crediblescholarship relyingon ous examinationof its behavior dur- the existence of evil as a real and efing the ThirdReich. Not surprisingly, fective force in the world." This asacademicshave looked at the behav- sertion obliges Dubnick to review ior of otherprofessionalcommunities some of the scholarly work on the under German National Socialism; Holocaust which, in one way or anthey have not looked at themselves as other,has triedto come to terms with a group. this very idea of evil. In the process, we have Adams and Balfour to he finds fault with some of the semiSo and thank, at the very least, for opening nal studiesin Holocaustliterature an issue and a theme for public ad- ends up commending,as a "model"of up ministration that every profession scholarship that Adams and Balfour shouldbe obliged to considerandthat might have followed, a work that severalhave yet to do. Professionally, nearlyeveryHolocaustscholarof note Adams andBalfourhave received ap- considersto be hopelessly flawed. One suspects that Dubnick's real propriate expressionsof gratitudeand esteem in the form of the coveted problemwith Unmasking AdministraLouis Brownlow Award of the Na- tiveEvil is its advancement a notion of tionalAcademyof PublicAdministra- that,for him, lacks empiricalrigorand tion (1998) and the Best Book Award specificity-a frequentlament heard of theAcademyof Management the regarding of muchof earlywritingsin the same year. Academically, it is a dif- fieldof publicadministration. a halfFor ferent story. centurynow, the field has been strugMelvin Dubnick, whose critique gling to gain, as all the social sciences appearsin this issue of PAR,notes the have, increasedlevels of scientificrereception of UnmaskingAdministra- spectabilityof the sort enjoyedby the tive Evil as "popularliterature"but physical and biological sciences. Alasks the academicallylethal question: thoughmost of its contemporary theois it scholarship? an extendedanaly- reticianswoulddemurfromthe assessIn sis of the criteria for what he terms ment,the field has essentiallyfollowed Dubnick theformula advanced Leonard White "legitimacyas scholarship," by finds that Adams and Balfour have 75 years ago who, as George Gordon failed to meet the standardsfor a cat- noted,"captured conventional the wisegory of scholarshiphe describes as dom of administrative theory:politics and were manargumentative rhetorical.In brief, andadministration separate, DubnickfaultsAdamsandBalfourfor agementcouldbe studiedscientifically advancingclaims about the phenom- to discoverthe best methodsof operaenon of administrativeevil that are tion;publicadministration capable was unsupportedby "the kind of eviden- of becominga value-freescience;and neutral administration should tiary backing one might expect for politically such a controversialanalysis."In es- be focused on attainment economy of and sence, he finds that they have not en- andefficiencyin government, nothgaged in "responsible argumentation." ing more"(1986, 23). In the process, has Labelingsomeone's work as popu- publicadministration foundit easier lar literature, everyone in the acad- to steer arounduntidysocial phenomas This is emy knows, is a professionalkiss-of- ena andmessy social problems. 480 Public Administration ? September/October Vol. No.5 Review 2000, 60, why the field has so little to say thatis usefulabout of problems raceinAmerica and,in all likelihood,thereasonthatthe Holocausthas been essentiallyignored academicians. by publicadministration One reads Adams and Balfour's work, and the reaction of Dubnickto it, andis remindedof the oft-repeated observationthat if contemporarysocial scientists had been presentat the crucifixion, they would have wanted to count the numberof nails used in the cross before determiningwhether the event had any social significance. The carefullyplanned and systematically implementedslaughterof close to six million people who represented the wrong race, by a governmentof one of the most socially andculturally advanced nations of the Western world, will continue to confound the moder mind. I, for one, am grateful for every legitimate attemptto come to grips with what occurredand with its implications for our time and the future. Hubert Locke JohnandMarguerite G. is Corbally and Professor DeanEmeritus theDanieli.Evans of Schoolof Public Affairs theUniversity Washat of ington.Email: email@example.com References Annas,GeorgeJ., andMichaelA. Grodin, eds. 1992. The Nazi Doctors and The Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation.New York: OxfordUniversity Press. Beyerchen, Alan D. 1977. Scientists under Hitler: Politics and the Physics Communityin the Third Reich. New Haven, CT:Yale University Press. Ericksen,Robert. 1985. Theologians under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althens, and EmmanuelHirsch. New Haven, CT:Yale UniversityPress. Gordon, George. 1986. Public AdministrationinAmerica,ThirdEdition.New York:St. Martin'sPress. Lipton, Robert Jay. 1986. Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. New York:Basic Books. The Authors' Response of GuyB.Adams,University Missouri-Columbia Grand DannyL.Balfour, Valley StateUniversity We are gratefulto our three interlocutorsfor all the effortthey devoted to theirreviews of ourbook. Each deserves more of a responsethanwe can give here, but we will attemptto address at least some of the key issues they have raised.Eachreview takesus in a different direction. Professor Locke underscoresthe importanceof the Holocaustand administrative evil for ourunderstanding publicadminof istration,publicpolicy, andotherprofessions. Professor Vickers, writing from "the edge of the world,"pushes us to consider new and broaderperspectives on and applications of the evil. Profesconceptof administrative sor Dubnick, on the otherhand,finds little of value in the book, questioning whether our work can be considered "credible"scholarship. Both Locke and Vickers challenge us to look beyond the confines of traditional public administration and to explore the implications of administrative evil for professions and organizations in the broader political economy. In the book, we only begin to explore the implicationsof administrativeevil for the professions(a futureprojectwe have in mind), but we do hope thatthe book furthers kind the of self-examinationthat, as Professor Locke points out, has only begun in public administrationand other professional fields. We agreethatpostmodern perspectives can bringa deeperanalysisto the topic, especially in terms of identifying and giving voice to marginalized and ("outsiders" "undesirpopulations an area in which Professor ables"), Vickershas alreadymade a contribution. Her examples, especially downsizingandwhistleblowing,point toward areas of organizational-level analysis that might be illuminatedin new ways by the concept of administrativeevil. We mightask whetherand to what extent contemporaryorganizations are creating new classes of unwantedpeople, therebyexpanding the ranksof the "surplus populations," who arethe most likely victims of administrative evil. Professor Vickers also reminds us, quite rightly, that Americanexamplesalone (apartfrom the Holocaust)do not do justice to the problems highlightedby the concept of administrative whenconsidered evil in a global context. In Professor Dubnick's review, of all the most insulting words that can be directed at a scholarly argument, is "journalistic" just aboutthe only one not used; however, it is implied. Our book and its argumentare labeled as and "rhetoric." Our ethics "popular" are questioned;andwe are accusedof choosing lower standardsthan those requiredfor scholarly credibility.InDubnickthenattributes the terestingly, book's generally favorable reception in partto the authors'reputation (presumablybuilt in some otherway than the attributes ascribedto us). Perjust we should be flattered by this haps high regardfor our reputation.However, it carrieswith it the derogatory anderroneousassertionthatreadersin the public administration community are more persuaded by an author's reputationthan by the substanceof a book's argument.Occam's razor, as cutting as it often is, would seem a relief after exposure to Dubnick's hatchet. ProfessorDubnickhas constructed a plausible enough review, but one which so caricatures the arguments and concepts in Unmasking Administrative Evil that, in the end, it seems to be aboutissues only loosely related to our book. ProfessorDubnick's review contains his thoughts and reactions abouta certainkind of research, an implicitdefenseof a fundamentally uncritical scholpublicadministration and a remarkably distorted arship, view of the meaningof evil. In effect, ProfessorDubnickdevelops a caricaturebased on his novel interpretation of partsof the book, andthenproceeds to attackthe caricature. Werethe caricature an accurate portrayal of the book's arguments,many might agree with much of what he sets forth.But, since he misses the point so badly in severalrespects,we mustrespectfully to requestreaders judge for themselves by readingthe book. A passagefromHirsch(1995) may provide some insight into Professor Dubnick's discomfort with our linkage of public administration with evil: genocide and administrative Genocideis a controversial topic that verywellpittheresearcher may the against state.If thenation-state has been the majorperpetrator of genocide or some other form of then invesatrocity, anyresearcher this tigating topicmustbeginto ask critical about nature the of questions the statein generalandhis or her statein particular. Socialscientists are sometimesreluctantto raise criticalquestionsbecauseserious of contemplation them may force thescientists evaluate reevaluto or atetheirprinciples theirconnecor tionto theirgovernment. (75-6) This passagereflectswhatwe mean when we say that we want to get beyond the superficialcritiques(bureaucratbashing)of publicadministration, and consider instead the more fundamental issues raised by remembering the role of public administrationin state-sponsoreddehumanizationand destruction.The concept of administrativeevil providesa meansfor making basic issues of human rights and dignity an integralpartof researching andevaluatingpublicpolicies and administrativebehavior.It is not necessary or perhapseven desirablefor all of a field's researchto take a critical stance, but clearly we risk disasterif none of it does. Our hope is that, by Spirited Dialogue481 beginning the analysis of administrative evil, enough critical scholarship will ensue to at least give some pause before vulnerable peoples are again victimized by public policies. and GuyB.Adamsis a professor associatedirectorof theGraduate Schoolof Public Affairs the at of He in University Missouri-Columbia. is coeditor chiefof theAmerican Review Public of Administration.Hisresearchinterests in the areas of are historyand theory,public publicadministration serviceethics,and organization studies.He has over 50 scholarly books, publications, including book chapters,and articlesin the top national administration He journals. earnedhisdocpublic in toratein publicadministration 1977 fromThe in George Washington University Washington, DC.Email: Adams@missouri.edu DannyL.Balfouris an associateprofessorand director theSchoolof Public Nonprofit of Adand ministration Grand ValleyState University at in Grand Rapids,Michigan.He is the managing editorof theJournal Public of AffairsEducation. Hisresearch teachinginterests in thearand are eas of organizational social theoryand behavior, policy,publicserviceethics,and the Holocaust. Hehaspublished morethan20 bookchapters and in articles thetopnational publicadminscholarly istration He journals. earned his Ph.D.in public in administration 1990 from TheFloridaState Email: University firstname.lastname@example.org References Hirsch, H. 1995. Genocide and the Politics of Memory.ChapelHill, NC: University of North CarolinaPress. FrankA. Sloan, Emily M. Stout, KathrynWhetten-Goldstein, and Lan Liang This groundbreaking study focuseson the liabilityimposedon alcoholserversand social hosts by tort law.Basingtheiraalsi on -: importantnew datafiom thr extnsive r and on in-depth interviews with despite their relative unpopularity,ort :lwe' in redug accidents. s frm sides of the issue,the auth:ors:Con ude t, -e evenimoreeffeive than cr :minal sanctions "Thlisis an importantcontributionto the field....The resultsand conclusions have enormouspolicy implications.The book sets a new benchmarkin this aspect of alcohol policy: which will serveas an importantfoundationfo futureresearch."-Robert Ma:,De: a of Public Health Science, Univet To of : Paper P2 . ..0 ^^I ie It-'i T';:::^ The UIv : rsit f C icag Pres : 5801 SouthiE1is:Avene, Chigo, IL60637 IC ww.press.uhcago.edu : E00 WVWMU : - X. ;? 482 Public Administration Review* September/October Vol.60, No. 5 2000,