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North Castle Books

Public Administration and Society: Critical Issues in American Governance, Third Edition
Authored by: Richard C. Box

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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-3534-1 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-3535-8
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Information: 344pp. Tables, figures, bibliographic references, index.
Publication Date: September 2013.  


Description: For instructors who want to expose their students to the social, political, and historical context of the practice of public administration, this book provides a unique approach to the introductory PA course. The author's own text is skillfully interwoven with a collection of seminal readings and documents that illuminate the key issues of past and present for public service professionals in a democratic society.

More than an overview of public administration, Public Administration and Society offers students a broad perspective on the American Founding Era, the relationship of citizens to government, and how the structure of government reflects societal values. The premise of the book is that understanding the societal context is important to the success of the practitioner and to the practitioner's role as a responsible agent of change in a democratic society.

Introductory essays and readings offer students perspectives on five important thematic areas in public administration: the Founding-Era debate over the size and scope of government, the relationship of the community to the individual, public organizations and policy making, values and public administration, and the role of the public service practitioner in a democratic society.

This new edition features five new readings, and, based on input from adopters, an entirely new section on public policy making (Part IV: Public Organizations and Policy). The author's part-opening sections have all been extensively revised and updated.

Selected Contents:


Part I. Introduction to the Central Issues: Context, Change, and Democracy

1. Scope and Content of Public Administration
Instrumental and Contextual Public Administration
The Unique Public Sector
Coercion and Government
Scope and Content of American Governments

2. Time and Change: The Environment of Public Administration
Predispositions and Freedom of Thought
Recurring Themes
A Picture of Change
Historical Peculiarity
Historical Similarity
Change and Economics

3. Democracy, Citizenship, and Governmental Structure
Democratic Citizenship
Precursors of American Democracy
Toward a New American Government
Contemporary Public Service Institutions
Republican Form of Government
The "Vertical" Structure of Government
The "Horizontal" Structure of Government
Politics and Administration

Part II. Creating a New Democracy

Founding Figures
The Federalist Papers
Federalist Papers 10, 17, and 51
The Anti-Federalist Response
Tocqueville's Concerns About Democracy

Reading 2.1 The Federalist Papers, Nos. 10, 17, & 51
Reading 2.2 Introduction to The Federalist Papers Reader, Frederick Quinn
Reading 2.3 Interpretative Essay, W.B. Allen, Gordon Lloyd, and Margie Lloyd
Reading 2.4 What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear, Alexis de Tocqueville

Part III. Community and the Individual

Reading 3.1 The Public Realm, Thomas E. McCollough
Reading 3.2 Barn Raising, Daniel Kemmis
Reading 3.3 The Nature of Community Governance, Richard C. Box

Part IV. Public Organizations and Policy

Reading 4.1 Democracy, Public Administrators, and Public Policy, Dale Krane
Reading 4.2 A Brief Tour of Public Organization Theory in the United States, Gary S. Marshall
Reading 4.3 The Future of the American Bureaucratic System, Richard J. Stillman II

Part V. Values and Public Administration

Reading 5.1 Unequal America: Causes and Consequences of the Wide--and Growing--Gap Between Rich and Poor, Elizabeth Gudrais
Reading 5.2 Introduction to New Public Administration, H. George Frederickson
Reading 5.3 Practitioners, Richard C. Box
Reading 5.4 Running Government Like a Business: Implications for Public Administration Theory and Practice, Richard C. Box

Part VI. The Public Service Practitioner in a Democratic Society

Reading 6.1 Democracy and Public Service, Mary R. Hamilton
Reading 6.2 The Citizenship Role of the Public Professional: Imagining Private Lives and Alternative Futures, Richard C. Box
Reading 6.3 Transforming Citizenship and Governance, Claire Mostel
Reading 6.4 Obituary: Team Metro, Claire Mostel

About the Author

Comment(s): "This new edition builds on the critically important connections between themes emergent during the framing of the Constitution and current issues; but it now includes new chapter materials that situate the public service practitioner in the context of compelling issues facing contemporary society. This book is a 'must read' for anyone who is entering the profession, because it opens a window to reveal the future of the field." -- Christine Reed, University of Nebraska-Omaha

"Public Administration and Society is a brilliant blend of the foundations of public administration and central issues in the field. Richard Box has included in one book the essentials that must be read, and are often missed, by every public administrator. From the founding days of the nation to the contemporary role of citizens and public administration practitioners, the book is comprehensive yet very accessible to students." -- Mohamad G. Alkadry, Florida International University (on the previous edition)

"Richard Box makes a dynamic, unique and essential contribution to the Public Administration literature. His treatment of issues of social equity and fairness sets this work apart from most texts in Public Administration. Much like the design of American government, this text represents delicate balances between micro issues of citizenship and macro issues of administration, between efficient and fair governance and government, and between the impulses of tradition and the imperatives of the future." -- Lenneal Henderson, University of Baltimore (on the previous edition)

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