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Neutrality Versus Responsiveness
Neutrality Versus Responsiveness

Public administration is a component of the political system. The managerialist approach to administration tends to consider the public bureaucracy in strictly instrumental terms and to assume that it is essentially the same as private management (see Chapter 2). But that managerialist conception tends to undervalue, or even ignore, the public nature of this institution. Especially in a democratic system, the public nature of the institution implies that public administrators should, up to a point, be responsive to political pressures. The questions, however, are how responsive should they be, and to whom? These are not easy questions and can be answered in several ways with equal validity.

This chapter will focus on public administrators and their individual political neutrality and ...

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