Reviews : When Race Counts: the morality of racial preference in Britain and America. Edwards, J. London: Routledge, 1995

AuthorBrigitte Boyce
DOI10.1177/095207679501000308
Published date01 December 1995
Date01 December 1995
Subject MatterArticles
92
The
problem
for
bureaucrats,
of
course,
is
that
ethical
dilemas
rarely
present
themselves
in
clear
cut
ways.
People
can
legitimately
disagree
about
whether
or
to
what
extent
a
particular
case
raises
problems
or
whether
the
existing
rules
are
applicable.
Officials
are
caught
in
a
web
of
loyalties
and
obligations:
obedience
to
the
law,
loyalty
to
bureaucratic
superiors
and
ministers/politicians
(not
necessarily
the
most
esteemed
group
of
people),
and
with
a
duty
of
consideration
to
citizens
(the
public
at
large
and/or
client
groups).
Ethical
demands
can
come
into
close
conflict
with
each
other
and
with
other
types
of
demands
facing
the
public
sector
(e.g.
efficiencey).
The
fashionable
option
of
a
code
of
ethics
is
not
a
panacea.
Kemaghan
points
out
that
we
lack
hard
evidence
about
the
efficacy
of
ethics
codes
as
compared
to
other
means
of
promoting
ethical
behaviour
in
government.
The
broad
principles
contained
in
many
codes
of
ethics
are
often
difficult
to
apply
in
the
specific
situations
troubled
administrators
may
find
themselves.
Codes
tend
to
deal with
the
last
horse
that
bolted,
argues
Cubbo.n.
It
is
difficult
to
draft
a
code
that
can
be
applied
effectively
across
departments,
branches
of
the
public
service
and
grades
of
staff
without
being
bland
or
platitudinous.
Certain
ethical
issues
(e.g.
assessing
what
level
of
risk
to
the
public
is
acceptable)
are
not
easily
resolved
or
managed
by
ethics
codes.
The
ethics
issue
has
moved
on
in
some
ways
since
these
papers
were
published.
The
book’s
main
focus
is
on
the
problems
of
administrators
rather
than
politicians,
but
today
the
spotlight
is
very
much
on
the
latter
group
(Nolan
and
all
that).
Arguably,
the
changing
behaviour
of
politicians -
ministers
failing
to
act
in
accordance
with
accepted
constitutional
practice,
for
example -
lay
behind
some
of
the
ethical
problems
and
cases
discussed
in
this
book.
The
book
pre-dates
the
Scott
Inquiry
which
may
raise
relevant
issues.
Revealingly,
there
was
no
whistle-blower
on
the
arms
to
Iraq
scandal.
Perhaps
in
the
era
of
the
’can-
do’
civil
service
manager
there
are
few
Clive
Ponting
types
left
who
hesitate
over
ethical
dilemmas?
On
a
different
front,
O’Toole’s
chapter
briefly
notes
the
move
to
charterism
and
consumerism
in
the
public
services,
but
the
book
was
published
before
this
move
had
taken
hold
and
there
is
no
sustained
discussion
of
the
ethical
issues
thrown
up
by
this
development.
Perhaps
in
due
course
there
will
be
another
confemece
discussing
these
(and
other)
issues
and
we
can
then
look
forward,
one
hopes,
to
another
volume
of
high
quality
papers,
like
the
ones
in
this
book.
Kevin
Theakston
Univeristy
of Leeds.
When
Race
Counts:
the
morality
of
racial
preference
in
Britain
and
America.
Edwards,
J.
London:
Routledge,
1995.
The
new
South
Africa
is
toying
with
the
idea
of
introducing
race
conscious
policies
in
order
to
remedy
the
continued
under
representation
of
blacks
in
key
positions.
Meanwhile
the
Republican-dominated
Congress
of
the
USA
has

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