The Tides of Reform: Making Government Work, 1945-1995 / Edition 1

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Overview

Paul Light explains that Congress and the presidency have never decided whether they trust government and its employees to do their jobs well, and so they have moved back and forth over the decades between four reform philosophies: scientific management, war on waste, watchful eye, and liberation management. These four philosophies, argues Light, operate with different goals, implementation strategies, and impacts. Yet reform initiatives draw on one or another of them almost at random, often canceling out the potential benefits of a particular statute by passing a contradictory statute soon afterward. Light shows that as the public has become increasingly distrustful of government, the reform agenda has favored the war on waste and watchful eye. He analyzes the consequences of these changes for the overall performance of government and offers policy recommendations for future reform approaches.
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Editorial Reviews

B. Guy Peters
This is an interesting but also somewhat maddening book... the most maddening part of the book is that there is little or nothing done to explain or justify the analysis that is presented... the other maddening aspect of this work is its parochialism.... In summary, Light has helped advance the understanding of administrative reform in the United States, but only part of the way. What we do not have is any compelling explanation of the patterns observed or any way of knowing how the patterns were identified.
— Political Science Quarterly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300076578
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Tides of Reform 15
2 Charting the Tides 44
3 The Climate of Reform 88
4 The Gravitational Pulls of Reform 131
5 The Consequences of Reform 179
6 Against the Tides 216
Appendixes 241
Notes 259
Index 275
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