Structure, Culture, and Governance: A Comparison of Norway and the United States / Edition 192

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Public bureaucracies are the workhorses of contemporary government, responsible for implementing public policies, and in the process making far more laws than do legislatures and adjudicating more cases than do the courts. How do bureaucracies function within a political system? How do they behave in the context of surrounding systems? To what extent do governmental structure and political culture shape the performance of bureaucracies? In this comparison of two countries-Norway and the United States-the authors analyze similarities and differences in political-administrative systems, measuring the capacity to govern and the influence of structure and culture in each case. They provide a framework for a broader understanding of public bureaucracy, its importance in a given political system, and how it interacts with other institutions to govern.

Author Biography: Tom Christensen is professor of public administration at the University of Oslo. B. Guy Peters is Maurice Falk Professor of American Government at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Editorial Reviews

Political Studies Review
...should attract readerships beyond those primarily interested in Nordic politics. The authors deserve plaudits for the execution of their difficult enterprise.
This book is the first sistematic comparison of public administration in Norway and the United States. It is a must-read for scholars as well as graduate and advanced undergraduate students specializing in comparative public administration.
Per Lægreid
In this book, Christensen and Peters manage to compare such different countries as Norway and the United States in an interesting and systematic way. By combining cultural and structural factors, they give new insight into the roles of the political-administrative systems in the two countries.
William Safran
This book is a detailed, well-documented, and insightful study of the connection between political-administrative institutions and policy making in two stable democratic systems. It examines a variety of viewpoints and theories of governance in the light of facts about decision makers, patterns of influence, major issues, and national political traditions. It should be read by all serious students of comparative politics.
Michael G. Roskin
The work would be excellent for graduate seminars in comparative politics—to teach complexity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847693146
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 192
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Christensen is professor of public administration at the University of 'slo. B. Guy Peters is Maurice Falk Professor of American Government at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Table of Contents

1 Norway, the United States, and Comparative Politics 1
2 Macropolitical Design of Government: The Legislative and Executive Related 19
3 Legislatures: Historical Trends and Contemporary Structure and Decision-Making Processes 41
4 The Political Executive 71
5 The Structure of the Executive Bureaucracy 97
6 Cultural Variables and Governance in Norway and the United States 131
7 Governance in the Two Societies 161
References 175
Index 191
About the Authors 195
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