Postmodern Public Administration / Edition 2


This widely acclaimed work provides a lively counterbalance to the standard assessment-measurement-accountability prescriptions that have made showing you did your job more important than actually doing it. Now extensively revised, it articulates a postmodern theory of public administration that challenges the field to redirect its attention away from narrow, technique-oriented scientism, and toward democratic openness and ethics.The authors incorporate insights from thinkers like Rorty, Giddens, Derrida, and Foucault to recast public administration as an arena of decentered practices. In their framework, ideographic collisions and everyday impasses bring about political events that challenge the status quo, creating possibilities for social change. "Postmodern Public Administration" is an outstanding intellectual achievement that has rewritten the political theory of public administration. This new edition will encourage everyone who reads it to think quite differently about democratic governance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765630483
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/19/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eTextbook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 176
  • File size: 579 KB

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
The Representative Democratic Accountability Feedback Loop     3
Orthodoxy     3
The Loop Model of Democracy     4
The Folly of Binding Behavior by Writing Rules     9
Quixotic Mainstream Reforms     11
Positivism in Public Administration     12
The Problem in Practice     12
Persistent Problems That Stem from Positivist Influence     16
Falsifiability     18
Self-Referential Systems     20
Deconstructing the Loop Model     21
Presence and Representation     23
Representation in a Symbolic System     24
Symbols Unmoored     27
Alternatives to Orthodoxy     29
Neoliberalism     30
Privatization, Contracting Out, and Performance Assessment     30
Critique of Neoliberalism     35
The Constitutionalist Alternative     40
Rohr's Thesis     40
Critique of Constitutionalism     42
Communitarian/Citizen Alternative     45
Communitarianism: Bedrock View     46
Communitarianism: Criticisms and Responses     48
Hyperreality     55
Instability and Incommensurability     55
Unstable Signs Leading to a Virtual Reality     56
Stable Communication/Epiphenomenalism     57
Referents Yield to Self-Referential Signs     60
The Thinning of Reality     64
Neotribalism and the Decentered Self     66
Otherness and Incommensurability     67
Fractions and Fragments     69
Symbolic Politics     70
Symbolic Politics Ascendant     71
Corporate Talk     73
Suppression of Discussion Regarding Public Concerns     75
Hyperreality Versus the Alternatives     77
Neoliberalism as Free Market Sloganeering     77
Foundationalism of Constitutionalism     78
Community as Sovereign     78
A Place for Discourse?     80
The Social Construction of Government     82
Constructivist Social Theory     82
Constructivism and Structuration Theory     83
Using Constructivism to Deconstruct the "Conflated Aggregation" Bureaucracy     87
Governmentality     88
Governmental Rationality     88
Subjectification     95
Ideographic Discourse     100
Symbols as Ordering Devices     100
Symbols and Metaphors     101
Physics and Metaphors     102
Ideography     105
Subjective Reality as Pictured Objects     106
Ideograph as Unit of Analysis     107
Derrida and the Reality of the Image     108
Relief from Dissonance     110
The Struggle for Meaning Capture in the Public Sphere     111
Events, Impasses, and the Authority of the Archives     112
Metaphors, Frames, and Ideographs     112
Theory/Practice     113
Ideographic Events     118
From Top-Down Bureaucracy to Bottom-Up Events     119
The Spark of Difference     119
Conclusion     121
Orthodoxy and Its Alternatives     122
Deconstructing the Loop Model of Democracy     122
Neoliberalism: The Reform That Hates Government     124
Constitutionalism     124
Communitarianism     215
Media-Infused Hyperreality     125
Constructivism and Governmentality     126
Recursive Practices     126
Governmentality     127
A Field of Political Contestation     128
Symbolization     128
The Momentous Event     129
The Changing Game     129
Decoherence     133
Implications     136
References     139
Name Index     149
Subject Index     153
About the Authors     157
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