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Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations

Speaking Truth to Power - A Theory of Whistleblowing

Authors: Santoro, Daniele, Kumar, Manohar

  • Provides the first systematic analysis of whistleblowing in the fields of legal and political philosophy 
  • Presents a comprehensive theory of whistleblowing, its scope and legitimacy
  • Articulates an original understanding of the epistemic dimension of constitutional rights, and of the value of dissent 
  • Contributes to the debate on democratic theory, especially with regard to the risks of secrecy in democracy
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eBook 63,06 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90723-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 77,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90721-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

Whistleblowing is the public disclosure of information with the purpose of revealing wrongdoings and abuses of power that harm the public interest. This book presents a comprehensive theory of whistleblowing: it defines the concept, reconstructs its origins, discusses it within the current ethical debate, and elaborates a justification of unauthorized disclosures. Its normative proposal is based on three criteria of permissibility: the communicative constraints, the intent, and the public interest conditions. The book distinguishes between two forms of whistleblowing, civic and political, showing how they apply in the contexts of corruption and government secrecy.

The book articulates a conception of public interest as a claim concerning the presumptive interest of the public. It argues that public interest is defined in opposition to corporate powers and its core content identified by the rights that are all-purposive for the distribution of social benefits.  

A crucial part of the proposal is dedicated to the impact of security policies and government secrecy on civil liberties. It argues that unrestrained secrecy limits the epistemic entitlement of citizens to know under which conditions their rights are limited by security policies and corporate interests. When citizens are denied the right to assess when these policies are prejudicial to their freedoms, whistleblowing represents a legitimate form of political agency that safeguards the fundamental rights of citizens against the threat of unrestrained secrecy by government power.

Finally, the book contributes to shifting the attention of democratic theory from the procedures of consent formation to the mechanisms that guarantee the expression of dissent. It argues that whistleblowing is a distinctive form of civil dissent that contributes to the demands of institutional transparency in constitutional democracies and explores the idea that the way institutions are responsive to dissent determines the robustness of democracy, and ultimately, its legitimacy. What place dissenters have within a society, whether they enjoy personal safety, legal protection, and safe channels for their disclosure, are hallmarks of a good democracy, and of its sense of justice.    

About the authors

Daniele Santoro is Researcher at the Center for Ethics, Politics, and Society (CEPS) of the University of Minho - Portugal. His interests lie in the ethics of dissent, secrecy, constitutional rights, the epistemic aspects of rights and justice, and the pragmatic analysis of legal concepts. His works on these and related subjects have appeared, among others, for Social Epistemology, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Philosophical Topics, Philosophia and in edited volumes for Routledge and Continuum.

He holds a PhD in Philosophy of Law from the University of Padua. In recent year he held research fellowships at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IRPPS), the Luiss University of Rome (where he taught for several years), the Institute for Advanced Studies of Aix-Marseille, and the Hoover Chair at UC Louvain.

Manohar Kumar is Assistant Professor of IT and Society at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Delhi. His current research interests are around questions of civil disobedience, democratic secrecy, digital dissent, and epistemic injustice. His works have appeared in Philosophy and Social Criticism, and in edited volumes of Routledge. He holds a PhD in Political Theory from LUISS University, Rome and has held post-doctoral positions at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and at Aix Marseille School of Economics, Aix Marseille University, where this book was completed.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Santoro, Daniele (et al.)

    Pages 1-7

  • What Is Whistleblowing?

    Santoro, Daniele (et al.)

    Pages 9-53

  • Public Interest and the Threat of Corruption: A Case for Civic Whistleblowing

    Santoro, Daniele (et al.)

    Pages 55-81

  • The Threat of Secrecy

    Santoro, Daniele (et al.)

    Pages 83-121

  • A Justification of Political Whistleblowing

    Santoro, Daniele (et al.)

    Pages 123-149

Buy this book

eBook 63,06 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90723-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 77,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90721-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Speaking Truth to Power - A Theory of Whistleblowing
Authors
Series Title
Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations
Series Volume
6
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-90723-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-90723-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-90721-5
Series ISSN
2352-8370
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 190
Number of Illustrations and Tables
2 b/w illustrations
Topics