The Public Administration Theory Primer / Edition 2

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This textbook offers updated, detailed descriptions of the key theories in contemporary public administration, from rational choice to postmodern approaches.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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

"[This] book is remarkable, and welcome, for the absence of the defensiveness and ambivalence one finds in the field toward theories originating outside of public administration."
Public Administration Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813345765
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 545,595
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chapter 1 Introduction: The Possibilities of Theory 1

Chapter 2 Theories of Political Control of Bureaucracy 15

Chapter 3 Theories of Bureaucratic Politics 41

Chapter 4 Public Institutional Theory 67

Chapter 5 Theories of Public Management 97

Chapter 6 Postmodern Theory 131

Chapter 7 Decision Theory 165

Chapter 8 Rational Choice Theory and Irrational Behavior 193

Chapter 9 Theories of Governance 219

Chapter 10 Conclusion: A Bright Future for Theory? 245

References 267

Index 291

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