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- DescriptionSecrets and Leaks examines the complex relationships among executive power, national security, and secrecy. State secrecy is vital for national security, but it can also be used to conceal wrongdoing. How then can we ensure that this power is used responsibly? Typically, the onus is put on lawmakers and judges, who are expected to oversee the executive. Yet because these actors lack access to the relevant information and the ability to determine the harm likely to be caused by its disclosure, they often defer to the executive's claims about the need for secrecy. As a result, potential abuses are more often exposed by unauthorized disclosures published in the press. But should such disclosures, which violate the law, be condoned? Drawing on several cases, Rahul Sagar argues that though whistleblowing can be morally justified, the fear of retaliation usually prompts officials to act anymously--that is, to leak information. As a result, it becomes difficult for the public to discern when an unauthorized disclosure is intended to further partisan interests. Because such disclosures are the only credible means of checking the executive, Sagar writes, they must be tolerated, and, at times, even celebrated. However, the public should treat such disclosures skeptically and subject irresponsible journalism to concerted criticism.
- Author BiographyRahul Sagar is Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science at New York University in Abu Dhabi and Washington Square Fellow at New York University in New York.
- PrizesWinner of National Academy of Public Administration Louis Brownlow Award 2014. Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2014.
- Author(s)Rahul Sagar
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication03/06/2016
- SubjectPolitics: General & Reference
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Weight428 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine25 mm
- Edition StatementRevised edition
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