Dimensions of Public Office
Public office is not a single thing. Distinctions between public and private, and formulations of what it is to hold an office and what is required in the conduct of that office have emerged historically in different places and at different times and have taken very different forms. Much contemporary thinking about public office assumes that we agree on exactly what it is and what is required of those who hold public office, but a moment's reflection on the very different expectations that people have of those who hold, for example, political office in different states across the world should help us to see that this is not the case. And while there is a strong argument that impartiality in the conduct of public office is a major component in the exercise of administrative office in more advanced states, it is clear also that that principle is not universal across all forms of public office, or across all states and administrative systems. In this project we are concerned to illustrate the understandings of public office that exist in different states, and to explore the dimensions of the term. The intellectual case for the project can be found in the work available on the pages on Principles and Practices.