Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives


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Introduction

The Director of the Institute for Government, a senior participant in the process, commented that the team's work "is a model of the interaction and influence of political scientists with practitioners, in making an impact on important public policy issues" [C2]. The research directly contributed to better definitions of the seven principles in public life, it helped to identify best practice in regulation, shaped the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's approach to regulation, and contributed to the wider public debate.

On the basis of his research, he was appointed to the newly established Research Advisory Board of the CSPL in to direct the Committee's research and has chaired the Board since running its biennial survey of public attitudes from to The CSPL is a governmental body that is tasked with examining concerns about standards of conduct among public office holders, including financial and commercial activities, and to recommend changes to ensure the highest standards of propriety.

In , based on his research [R2] , Philp wrote a conceptual paper for the Committee, The Seven Principles: What they say and what they mean [C3], which identified tensions in the principles and argued that the CSPL should conduct research on the understanding of the principles by the public and office holders. Philp was closely involved in the research, which was conducted in He provided detailed advice, helped design the topic guide for the focus groups, attended groups as an observer on behalf of the Committee, and liaised with the research company in the writing of the final report.

The report recommended that several of the descriptors of the principles be changed to reflect more adequately the public's understandings of the terms. Before , change was inopportune, but, in , Philp brought the report and his own research [R2] to the attention of the largely renewed Committee as it worked on its 14 th Report " Standards Matter: a review of best practice in promoting good behaviour in public life" Jan [C4]. Philp contributed particularly to the Report's Chapter 3 on the seven principles which cites Philp's paper [C3, C4] , and stressed the importance of defining the principles in terms that make sense equally to members of the public and those in public office.

The Report introduced several changes in the descriptors broadly following the research. The seven principles and their new descriptors provide the basic template for codes of conduct throughout the UK public sector, applying to all elected and appointed officials. His research on accountability mechanisms and regulatory regimes, their positive and potentially distortive effects, and the relationship between UK concerns and the wider international context, helped to inform Chapter 6 "Ethical Regulation" of the 14 th Report of the CSPL, " Standards Matter: a review of best practice in promoting good behaviour in public life" Jan [C4].


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Hine contributed key insights from the team's research, and also provided access to draft material from the team's on-going study of attitudes by first-time MPs to the regulation regime, which is cited in the report [C6]. The report was later accepted by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and included in her annual report to Parliament in July Hine's analysis and Peele's evidence, which drew on their broader research on regulation, was extensively quoted in the Review [C8, pp. As the regulator was working through a series of difficulties in its relationship with Parliament and public opinion, the IPSA CEO asked Hine and Peele to provide research-based advice to enable senior IPSA staff to achieve a greater understanding of the wider context of public ethics and to facilitate inter-agency communication.

These seminars drew directly on the team's research to discuss: alliance-building strategies to secure more effective links between IPSA and stake-holders in promoting acceptance of the new standards; regulator accountability assessing the appropriateness of the accountability IPSA had hitherto been subject to from i the Public Accounts Committee, ii the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, and iii the specially-constituted Parliamentary Select Committee ; pay and pensions; and the draft Green Paper on MPs' conditions, prepared for publication in December Over 25 years have passed since the Crawford and Gressley study.

While gender continues to be a salient element structuring society, women have also become more visible in a number of domains of public life, including in the realm of comedy. It is possible that gender stereotypes may have become less entrenched in the present day. We therefore wondered if the preference for a male figure as the embodiment of an outstanding sense of humor noted previously still holds among young adults in the present age.

We also wondered whether individuals from other countries would show a similar preference, given that they might be less likely to be influenced by Western gender stereotypes including stereotypes regarding men as being the canonical humor initiator , but might have their own cultural stereotypes about humor, gender, and the relation between the two. Although there have been a few prior studies of humor stereotypes in different nationalities, the focus of our study was on how individuals from the United States compared to those from two other countries in articulating characteristics of an ideal sense of humor, as embodied in someone they knew.

Our interest was to uncover patterns of commonalities as well as differences across groups and across genders.


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In searching the literature, we could find only one other empirical study conducted since the study by Crawford and Gressley that used their open-ended prompt. This study, by Nevo et al. It, too, found that the embodiment of an outstanding sense of humor was male.

The researchers further noted that the preference for a male target was more pronounced in men, but no additional analyses were reported in terms of specific humor characteristics mentioned by men and women. Thus, we felt another study was warranted. Our study had two goals. The first was to investigate if the male preference first reported by Crawford and Gressley still holds. To examine this, we pooled data from United States-based college students tested from to the present.

The second goal was to investigate if the pattern of a male preference as the embodiment of an ideal sense of humor is restricted to United States participants or is generalizable to other samples.

Ebook Conflict Of Interest And Public Life: Cross National Perspectives

Turkey is considered geographically and culturally as a bridge between Asia and Europe. Thus, we aimed to compare participants raised in a Western American , a Middle Eastern Iranian , and a blended Turkish culture. We did not have a priori expectations of how participants across the three groups would respond on the task; our study is exploratory with regard to the cultural dimension, as our sample sizes were limited and varied in other respects e. Participants included male and female United States born American and international students born in Iran or in Turkey recruited from a university town in the southwestern region of the United States, from a university in Istanbul, and from online responses.

Additional information

The American sample consisted of undergraduate students including women who ranged in age from 18 to 23 years, with a mean of 21 years. The majority self-identified as white, and the numbers of Latinx, African American, or Asian Americans were too few to permit separate subgroup analyses. The Iranian sample comprised 71 participants 47 women who ranged in age from 17 to 54 years, with a mean age of The American and Turkish participants completed the task as part of a class activity; the Iranian sample was recruited by placing an announcement in social media and participants completed an online version of the task.

All participants received and answered the prompt in their primary language.

Citations per year

The Iranian and Turkish data were translated into English by native Farsi- and Turkish speakers who had advanced English proficiency. Most of the data were coded by the same researcher with gender of participants masked to provide consistency in coding. They were instructed to think of a specific individual they knew who had an outstanding or ideal sense of humor and then to describe the characteristics of that humor, using three to five descriptors.

There were no time constraints for responding. Two sets of comparisons were conducted using chi square and regression analyses. The first examined percent mention of the target gender by participant gender and country.

Overview of Comparative Surveys Worldwide

The second examined percent mention of each of the five categories of humor descriptors identified by Crawford and Gressley in relation to participant gender and country. The five coding categories were as follows: Creativity: This characteristic includes terms referring to creative aspects of humor, like witty, quick comeback, playing with language, clever , as well as being spontaneous or natural.

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Also included in the table are the number of participants per group for whom humor target gender was not specified. The latter comprised A chi square analysis was done excluding those whose target gender was unspecified to compare the relative percent mention of a male vs. That is, regardless of their country of origin, participants showed a consistent tendency to select a male figure as their humor ideal: Again, only participants whose responses indicated the gender of their humor ideal were included in the analysis.

Dummy coding was applied for the analysis. This figure demonstrates the relative mention of man humor target per participant gender and country only participants who specified the target gender. A logistic regression was conducted on the American sample to see if there was a difference related to time at testing in the percent mention of a male target by men and women.

Here, Crawford and Gressley were compared with data from the American sample which was collected over two different time periods, and There was not a difference between the American and the data. Participants from the sample That is, the selection of a male humor ideal was significantly higher when the participant was a male than when the participant was a female.

In our study, male preference for a male target was An additional set of analyses was conducted on the influence of participant gender on relative mention of each of five characteristics of an ideal sense of humor.

Ebook Conflict Of Interest And Public Life: Cross National Perspectives 2008

A preliminary analysis that included target gender as an additional predictor yielded no effect of this variable and so we do not report it here. Note that these values represent all of the data per group, including those for whom target gender was not specified. Relative mention of each characteristic by each gender participant in each of the three groups. Inspection of the relative percent mention of the five humor characteristics shows an overall predominance of mention of the creativity characteristic by men and women and across all groups.

This figure demonstrates the relative mention of each characteristic by participant gender and country. However, no gender-specific effect was observed in any of the five humor characteristics. The results demonstrated that gender was a multivariate phenomenon, but gender did not specifically predict any of the five characteristics. The aim of this study was to examine how men and women describe a specific person who embodies their ideal sense of humor. The study provided an opportunity to test whether the finding of a male target preference first noted by Crawford and Gressley for United States based participants and by Nevo et al.

Our findings show that the selection of a male as the embodiment of an ideal sense of humor was a pervasive and robust finding across the three samples we tested. Moreover, the size of this effect did not vary across the three groups. Of course, it is possible that the three samples we selected are on the gender inegalitarian end of the continuum and that had we selected a more egalitarian country we might not have found the effect. That remains for future work to test. Our analysis of the United States samples tested at different periods of time further revealed that a male preference was actually somewhat stronger in the sample than it was for either the sample or a more recent sample.

Perhaps the stronger male bias exhibited in the sample is a reflection of a public discourse in the country around that time regarding whether women can ever be as good at comedy as men. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that, across all time periods sampled, the selection of a male target was significantly more likely when the participant was himself male.

Thus, despite changes in societal consciousness about gender and humor that may have occurred to differing degrees over the past 25 years, there is a consistent preference for men to consider men as the embodiment of an ideal sense of humor.


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Moreover, this effect was found in the analysis by country of origin as well. The finding that men are perceived as the embodiment of an ideal sense of humor may in part reflect an availability bias arising from the fact that male comedians and comedy writers still greatly outnumber female comedians and comedy writers. Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. Learn more Check out.

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Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives
Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives
Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives
Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives
Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives
Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives
Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives

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