Politics of the Administrative Process

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9781483332932: Politics of the Administrative Process
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Today’s public administrators struggle to remain efficient in the face of polarization and gridlock, while at the same time, must maintain their performance despite shifting demographics and challenging economic and budgetary conditions. In the new Sixth Edition of Politics of the Administrative Process, Kettl hones in on three overarching themes of politics, accountability, and performance to give students a realistic, relevant, and well-researched view of the field. Understanding the need to balance theory with practice, chapter discussions provide the foundational concepts necessary to understand how the administrative process works, while case studies apply those concepts at the federal, state, and local levels. The new sixth edition now showcases a full-color interior that will grab students’ attention and improve data analysis skills with eye-catching photos, tables, figures, maps, and charts. Also thoroughly updated with new scholarship, data, and events, this text remains reader friendly with its engaging vignettes and rich examples.

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About the Author:

Donald F. Kettl is Sid Richardson Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Volcker Alliance and the Brookings Institution.

Kettl is the author or editor of numerous books, including Can Governments Earn Our Trust? (2017); Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy (2017); The Politics of the Administrative Process (7th edition, 2017), Escaping Jurassic Government: Restoring America’s Lost Commitment to Competence (2016), System under Stress: The Challenge to 21st Century American Democracy Homeland Security and American Politics (2014), The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (2008), and The Global Public Management Revolution (2005).

He has received three lifetime achievement awards: the American Political Science Association’s John Gaus Award, for a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration; the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, for outstanding contributions in the field of public sector personnel management; and the Donald C. Stone Award of the American Society for Public Administration, for significant contributions to field of intergovernmental relations.

Three of his books have received national best-book awards. Kettl has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration for the best book published in public administration: The Transformation of Governance (2002); and System under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics (2005). His book, Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America’s Lost Commitment to Competence, won the 2016 award for book of the year from the American Society for Public Administration.

Kettl holds a PhD in political science from Yale University. Prior to his appointment at the University of Texas at Austin, he taught at the University of Maryland, where he served as Dean of the School of Public Policy. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a fellow of Phi Beta Kappa and the National Academy of Public Administration. 

Kettl has consulted broadly for government organizations at all levels, in the United States and abroad, including most recently the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has appeared frequently in national and international media, including National Public Radio, the Fox News Channel, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and “The Situation Room,” the Huffington Post, as well as public television’s News Hour and the BBC. He is a regular columnist for Governing magazine, which is read by state and local government officials around the country. He chaired two gubernatorial blue-ribbon commissions for the Wisconsin state government, one on campaign finance reform and the other on government structure and finance.

Kettl is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers, along with his wife, Sue.

 

Review:

"Politics of the Administrative Process stands out among other competing textbooks for its clarity, comprehensiveness, and coverage. It tackles the issue of government accountability in a direct way, but also has a positive, upbeat tone toward public service, which is important for today’s students, many of whom question the value of public service. Other public administration textbooks are dry and uninteresting but this book works better for my students, due to the clear, straightforward writing style and illustrative case studies. Students like real-life examples, and the case studies really bring the more abstract discussions to life and are an important part of helping to meet our teaching and learning objectives. Many texts also ignore or downplay discussion of state and local governments, but Kettl’s coverage is robust, and incorporates numerous state and local examples. I particularly like the last section that puts public administration into the context of the rules, processes, and politics of our democratic system― the text’s emphasis on politics is one of its most attractive aspects for me."

Author: John Klemanski

"The approach that Donald Kettl takes in Politics of the Administrative Process really stands out as a very appealing aspect of the book, especially the perspective that the government is working for the people and is involved in our lives on a daily basis, rather than being a distant and formal monolith. The placement of accountability and ethics as the first chapter also effectively sets the stage for the rest for the book. The excellent case studies at the end of each chapter are one of the text’s key strengths, covering a variety of topics that are grounded in actual events, instead of generic scenarios. Kettl also makes an effort to help students connect with the book by discussing events that they can relate to, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, and placing them into the context of the themes of the text."

Author: Kurt Fenske

"Politics of the Administrative Process is truly a comprehensive text. Donald Kettl is a well-known scholar who is very knowledgeable on the role of administration in policy formation and implementation, and he is able to condense a great deal of information and present it in a way that is relatively easy for students to follow. Kettl’s book is effectively organized, and focuses on the core issues and concepts of public administration, including important topics like accountability and bureaucratic reform.  The book also includes strong pedagogical aids, with very clear and helpful tables, figures, and charts, and useful end-of-chapter elements."

Author: Patricia Freeland

"One of the key strengths of The Politics of the Administrative Process is its organization; the book opens and closes on the theme of accountability―fitting bookends to the topics in-between.  The case studies at the end of each chapter are exceptional, providing the basis for many interesting classroom discussions and thoughtful written assignments. Overall, Politics is very engaging and accessible to students."

Author: Neal Buckwalter

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