Postmodern Public Policy

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Confronts the challenge presented to traditional public policy by postmodern thought. BACKCOVER: Postmodern Public Policy introduces new ways of investigating the urgent difficulties confronting the public sector. The second half of the twentieth century saw approaches to public administration, public policy, and public management dominated by technical-instrumental thought that aspired to neutrality, objectivity, and managerialism. This form of social science has contributed to a public sector where policy ...
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Overview

Confronts the challenge presented to traditional public policy by postmodern thought. BACKCOVER: Postmodern Public Policy introduces new ways of investigating the urgent difficulties confronting the public sector. The second half of the twentieth century saw approaches to public administration, public policy, and public management dominated by technical-instrumental thought that aspired to neutrality, objectivity, and managerialism. This form of social science has contributed to a public sector where policy debates have been reduced to bumper-sticker slogans, a citizenry largely alienated and distant from government, and analysis that ignores history and context and eschews the lived experiences of actual people. Hugh T. Miller brings together the latest thinking from epistemology, evolutionary theory, and discourse theory in an accessible and useful manner to emphasize how a postmodern approach offers the possibility of well-considered, pragmatic solutions grounded in political pluralism and social interaction between public service professionals and community members.

Author Biography: Hugh T. Miller is Professor and Director of the School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University. He has published several books, including These Things Happen: Stories from the Public Sector (coedited with Mohamad G. Alkadry); Postmodernism, Reality, and Public Administration: A Discourse (coedited with Charles J. Fox); and Postmodern Public Administration: Toward Discourse (coauthored with Charles J. Fox).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791454893
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Series: SUNY series in Public Policy Series
  • Pages: 116
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 The System and its Nemesis 1
Encroachments 4
Hyperrationality 11
Ch. 2 The Mutation of Meaning 21
Some Examples of the Disconnect 23
The Instability of Language 30
Ch. 3 Idea Contagion 33
Memetics 33
Memetics and Postmodernism 39
The Prospects for Rational Sorting 46
Ch. 4 Contextualism 51
Situation and Intentionality 51
Practical Discourse 54
A Perspective on Change 61
Ch. 5 Policy Inquiry 65
Epistemology as Abstract Universalism 67
Facts are Word-Shaped Things 73
Self-Referential Systems 79
Perspectival Small t Truth 83
Ch. 6 Democratic Discourse 87
The End of Universals? 87
Monologic Discourse: An Oxymoron 91
Vibrant Pluralism 92
An Ethos of Discourse 101
References 105
Index 113
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