Responsible Government


in Responsibility

Published in print May 1995 | ISBN: 9780198235781
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679117 | DOI:
Responsible Government

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This chapter discusses two strands of argument that underlie our ideal of responsible government: the responsibility of office and the need for all to share responsibility for what their government does. Those who govern undertake special responsibilities, and their performance can be judged on the basis of the task they have undertaken. It is a difficult task: decision-making takes time, and often calls for exceptional ability, and it needs to be done disinterestedly in circumstances where it would be very easy to allow considerations of self-interest to creep in. The main aim of this kind of argument is to ensure that government is good government: if all decisions are responsibly taken, then there will be reasons for them, which even if not the best of all possible reasons will be faceable reasons, and so the decisions are likely to be reasonably unbad.

Keywords: responsibility; government; office; good government; decision-making

Chapter.  12219 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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