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Nicole de Montricher

In: Handbook of Public Administration

Section 7: Politics and Administration

Edited by: B. Guy Peters & Jon Pierre

Subject: Public Administration (general)

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Politics and Administration
Politics and administration

Since the emergence of the democratic state, relations between politics and administration have been an issue. At stake is the balance between a fair implementation of public policies, voted by the elected bodies, and an exclusive appropriation of the state apparatus by a political coalition. In the real world, however, this result has been reached; each state organizes its own framework based on distinctive values and institutions to get this balance. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the focus has been on the difficult compliance of the ‘principle of neutrality’ with the compelling domination of politics over administration. The concept meant that public administration was nothing but an instrument under the hierarchical authority of the executive power to implement the ...

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