Public Administration: Power and Politics in the Fourth Branch of Government / Edition 1

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Public Administration: Power and Politics in the Fourth Branch of Government presents public administration through the lens of politics and the policy-making power of the bureaucracy. By showing how the bureaucracy influences daily life, Smith and Licari bring the field of public administration alive for students. This text dispels the myth that the study of public administration is boring or irrelevant to students' lives by demonstrating just how deeply it pervades our lives.

The authors focus on the bureaucracy—"the fourth branch of government"—as a key ingredient in politics and policy-making. This approach is novel, but it accurately reflects the true nature of public administration in America. This book examines our bureaucracy's considerable political power, where it comes from, how it is used, and how it can be controlled.

Major Features:

* Unique focus on political and policy-making power. This is the first public administration textbook to focus on the political and policy-making power of the bureaucracy. Without abandoning coverage of more traditional topics, this approach is more compelling to students because it demonstrates just how much influence the bureaucracy wields in our daily lives.
* Highlights the tension between democracy and bureaucracy. A central paradox at the heart of the political system is democracy's reliance on the very undemocratic bureaucratic institutions that characterize the administrative branch of government. This text seeks to explain why and lay out the implications of that dependency.
* Details the role and legitimacy of public administration in a democracy. There is an uneasy and fascinating relationship between the democratically elected leadership in government and the bureaucracies needed to carry out their decisions. This tension forms a running theme throughout the book.
* Solid multidisciplinary foundation. This book draws on literature by the most important academics in the fields of both public administration and political science.
* Readability. Smith and Licari write in an engaging, informal style that is rich in lively examples and free of academic jargon.

Key terms are included in a glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Smith and Licari clearly cover both the political and the management sides of public administration. They communicate complex contemporary issues in public administration in a direct and understandable manner. This text challenges students with crisply presented arguments that provide a balanced view of the issues."—Kenneth J. Meier, Texas A&M University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195330694
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/22/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Nebraska--Lincoln

University of Northern Iowa

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Government You Didn't Know You Had, or Why You Should Be Interested in Public Administration
Why Study Public Administration?
What Is Public Administration?
How to Study Public Administration
Part I. The Politics of Public Administration
2. The Administrative State: Or, Where Did All This Bureaucracy Come From?
The Need for Public Administration
Understanding the Rise of the Administrative State
Bureaucracy's Role in the Policy Process
Recap: Why We Need (and Want!) Bureaucracy
The Structure of the Administrative State
Why is Public Administration "Public"?
3. A Difficult Mission: Trying to Please All the People All the Time
The Basic Goal of Public Agencies
Finding Goals
Government Is No Way to Run a Business
Having Business Run the Government
4. Bureaucratic Power in a Democratic State: Or, Why Government Is More Than It's
Cracked Up to Be
The Traditional View of Public Administration
Bureaucracy as a Political Actor
Sources of Bureaucratic Power
The Nature of Bureaucratic Power
Rulemaking and Adjudication
5. Ethics and Accountability
A Question of Accountability
Accountable to Whom?
Mechanisms of Accountability
Part II. Inside the Bureaucracy
6. Deciding and Doing: The Central Challenges of Public Administration
Deciders and Doers
Decisions, Decisions
Putting Decisions Into Action
7. Public-Sector Performance
Organizational Goals and Evaluating Performance
Contextual Goals
Public Expectations of Bureaucracy
Multiple "Layers" of Implementation
Evaluating Public-Sector Performance
Part III. Public Management: The Core Functions of Public Administration
8. Public Budgeting
The Nature of Public Revenue and Spending
What Do Public Budgets Do?
Political Priorities in Public Budgeting
The Federal Budget Process
Budgeting in State and Local Governments
Analysis in Public Budgeting
9. Managing People
Public Versus Private Personnel Systems
Public Personnel Systems
Recruiting, Selecting, and Hiring
Compensation, Evaluation, and Promotion
Unions and the Return of the Spoils System
10. Implementation
Requirements of Effective Policy Implementation
The Reality of Policy Implementation
Part IV. New Directions in Public Administration
11. The Future of Public Administration
The ATM Bureaucracy
The Great Governance Debate
Political and Policy Change: The Rise of the Disarticulated State Homeland Security
The Study of Public Administration

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