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Chapter 6: Simplicity Versus Complexity: Programs and Implementation
Of all the dichotomies that describe public administration, one of the most basic is the distinction between simplicity and complexity. While to some extent all of governing and policymaking is complex and involves a number of actors and organizations, some problems – the proverbial wicked problems – are more complex than are others (but see Peters, 2015b). Likewise, some administrative systems build in greater complexity in their structures and processes than do others. That said, in almost all cases administration has become more complex in response to the ideas of New Public Management (NPM) and participatory reforms in public administration.
Even if we recognize that a policy problem is complex, how do we address ...