Description: Some of the best writings on public budgeting and finance can be found in the journals that ASPA publishes or sponsors. For this volume editor Irene Rubin has brought together the best of these articles--emerging classics that address the most important theoretical and practical problems underlying public budgeting.
The anthology is organized topically rather than historically, with an effort to delineate the issues needed to understand some of the more recent controversies in the field. Rubin's introductory essay and section openers frame the key issues and provide historical context for each article. The collection begins with descriptions of what public budgeting is, where it comes from, and what it is for. It moves on to the relationship between budget processes and outcomes, constraints on budgeting, the legal context in which it operates, and adaptations to those constraints such as contracting out.
The book concludes with a discussion of the ethics and norms that underlie budgeting in a democracy. Throughout the anthology, the emphasis is on areas of disagreement and debate, so students can get involved and explore different viewpoints.
Part 1. What Is a Public Budget? Origins and Purposes
1. Making "Common Sense" Out of Federal Budgeting, Joseph White
Part 2. Budgeting in a Democracy; Institutional Arrangements
4. Paradox, Ambiguity, and Enigma: The Strange Case of the Executive Budget and the United States Constitution, Naomi Caiden
Part 3. The Roles of the Key Budget Actors and Decision Making
3.1. Role of the Executive Budget Office
Part 4. The Budget Process
16. Ten Years of the Budget Act: Still Searching for Controls, Louis Fisher
Part 5. Constraints
Part 6. Privatization and Contracting
29. Competition and Choice in New York City Social Services, E.S. Savas
Part 7. Budget Norms and Ethics
31. Budgetary Balance: The Norm, Concepts, and Practice in Large U.S. Cities, Carol Lewis
Comment(s): "This is a well-edited book and is a must-read for students interested in U.S. public budgeting. Irene Rubin has successfully encapsulated the field's theoretical issues and practices, both classic and current. The well-chosen articles are authoritative works on each of their respective topics. They also give us a valuable historical perspective on the future challenges ahead." -- Alfred Ho, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
Review(s): "For anyone who is interested in understanding budgeting practices, [this text is] well worth the effort." -- Public Administration Review
"The ASPA Classics series has focused and refocused the central issues in the field, both those that have been problematic for generations and those that have emerged more recently. In doing so, the series provides public administration scholars and practitioners with valuable assessments of important parts of the field and indicators of the work to be done to advance theory and practice." -- Public Administration Review