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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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Acknowledging the State

Acknowledging the State

(p.26) Chapter 2 Acknowledging the State
Strategies for Governing

Alasdair Roberts

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the first step in the macro-level approach to public administration, which is to acknowledge the fundamental unit of political organization in the modern world: the state. Up until the early 1950s, scholars in public administration routinely talked about the state. However, this way of thinking fell out of fashion decades ago. Today, entire textbooks in public administration are produced without reference to the concept of the state. The field operates without acknowledging that the United States is a state that is also part of a community of states or that a main concern of American policymakers is executing tasks essential to state survival. The state has another critical aspect: it possesses a status or standing referred to as statehood. The chapter then identifies the definition of a state. It is helpful to distinguish the concept of the state from three other concepts: government, nation-states, and statism.

Keywords:   public administration, political organization, state, United States, American policymakers, statehood, government, nation-states, statism

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