The Public Administration Theory Primer

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9780813345765: The Public Administration Theory Primer

The Public Administration Theory Primer explores how the science and art of public administration is definable, describable, replicable, and cumulative. The authors describe several theories and analytical approaches that contribute to what we know about policy administration and consider which are the most promising, influential, and important—both now and for the future.

The extensively updated second edition includes the latest directions and developments in public administration theory. These include the rise of reporting as a means to hold bureaucracy accountable, the continuing evolution of the hollow state” or shadow bureaucracy” and the rise of network theory, and new psychological and biological behavioral research with important implications for decision theory and rational choice. The contributions of nearly a decade's worth of new research are woven into all the chapters, in some cases altering conclusions about the health and robustness of certain popular conceptual frameworks.

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About the Author:

H. George Frederickson is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at the University of Kansas.

Kevin B. Smith is professor of political science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Christopher W. Larimer is associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa.

Michael J. Licari is associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa.

Review:

"The student new to Public Administration might be struck by the longstanding disciplinary commitment to grounding empirical observation in theoretical frameworks. This makes The Public Administration Theory Primer an essential companion for new explorers or old hands in the field. Providing an essential map—complete with commentary on roadside attractions and directions through scenic by-ways—the authors not only introduce core bodies of theory and their development, they never fail to assess the applicability of each. The reader will be left with a strong sense of the landscape and good idea of where to head for an extended exploration."
Jonathan GS Koppell, Director, ASU School of Public Affairs, Lattie and Elva Coor Presidential Chair

"The Public Administration Theory Primer is the perfect starting point for any student of public administration. It provides a well documented overview of an exceptional range of topics. It is the perfect Christmas gift for the graduate student in your life."
Kenneth Meier, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University and Professor of Public Mangement, Cardiff University in Wales

Praise for the First Edition:

"Frederickson and Smith have drawn a road map of the field's big questions—and the most promising directions for resolving them. It's an important and lively contribution to the debate about the future of public administration theory."
Donald F. Kettl, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"By their shrewd selection of proven and emerging scholarship, Frederickson and Smith show the extent to which the study of public administration is and must be founded on theory. In their treatment, public administration has become an inspiration and a forum for some of the best thinking in the social and behavioral sciences."
Laurence E. Lynn, Jr., Texas A&M University

"Much of the administrative theory literature is partial, polemical and difficult to penetrate. This volume is very different from that pattern. It provides the reader with a road map to access a broad range of theories. It unpacks the controversies in the field and allows the reader to gain a sense of the intellectual debates surrounding this topic."
Beryl Radin, University of Baltimore

"This book proves there is nothing as practical as a good theory. The Public Administration Theory Primer is an important addition to the field."
Brinton Milward, University of Arizona

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H. George Frederickson, Kevin B. Smith, Christopher W. Larimer, Michael J. Licari
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