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Strategies for GoverningReinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century$
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Alasdair Roberts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714405

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714405.001.0001

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Time for a New Approach

(p.1) Introduction
Strategies for Governing

Alasdair Roberts

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of public administration. In the United States, the field of public administration was launched almost a century ago by people with bold aspirations. They were not interested only in the efficiency of government offices; they wanted a thorough overhaul of the American state so that it could manage the pressures of modern-day life. Unfortunately, this expansive view of the field's purpose has been lost. Over the last four decades in particular, the focus within the field has been mainly on smaller problems of management within the public sector. This is sometimes called the “public management approach.” This narrowing of focus might have made sense in the United States and a few other advanced democracies in the waning decades of the twentieth century, but it does not make sense today. Many people have recently protested this shrinking of ambitions. Thus, there is a need for a change of direction and to recover an expansive view of the field. This book proposes a way to do so.

Keywords:   public administration, United States, government offices, American state, public management

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