Recent years have seen a number of whistleblowers risk their liberty to expose illegal and corrupt behaviour. Some have heralded their bravery, others see them as traitors. Can there be a moral duty to emulate their example and blow the whistle?
In this book, leading political philosophers Emanuela Ceva and Michele Bocchiola offer a crisp discussion of this question from the perspective of political theory. They draw on well-known cases, such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, to probe the difference between permissible and dutiful whistleblowing. They examine the problems of whistleblowing and analyse the potential burdensome consequences whistleblowers face. They argue that insofar as whistleblowing is understood as an individual act of dissent, it falls short of constituting a duty, although it can be praiseworthy as an act of heroism. Whistleblowing should, they contend, be seen as an institutional duty, embedded within the organizational practices of public accountability.
This concise book is an invaluable guide to this complex topic for students and scholars of applied political theory, as well as political, business and organizational ethics.
Emanuela Ceva is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Pavia.
Michele Bocchiola is Research Fellow in Political Philosophy at the University of Pavia.