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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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Grand Challenges

(p.135) Conclusion
Strategies for Governing

Alasdair Roberts

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter looks at the National Academy of Public Administration's project in which they made a public call for comments about the “grand challenges of public administration.” Specifically, it sought advice on two questions, capitalizing for emphasis: “WHAT government must do over the next decade and HOW it should do it.” In other words, the academy wondered what the strategy for governing the United States should be in the coming decade. The field of public administration has been caught out at a critical moment. The problems that will confront the American state in the mid-twenty-first century are no less substantial than those of writer Walter Lippmann's time. Climatic disruption, shifts in the global power balance, demographic changes, technological revolutions, fiscal pressures, infrastructural shortfalls-all of these trends could jeopardize security, order, and citizens' well-being if government does not anticipate the dangers and organize itself properly in response. And people know from experience that it takes years to build agreement on strategy and reconstruct institutions so that they give expression to it. Choices made in the next few years will shape the contours of American public administration for decades to come.

Keywords:   National Academy of Public Administration, public administration, governance strategies, United States, government, state institutions, American public administration

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