Previous Chapter Chapter 13: Administrative State and Society: A Case Study of the United States of America Next Chapter

Larry S. Luton

In: Handbook of Public Administration

Chapter 13: Administrative State and Society: A Case Study of the United States of America

Edited by: B. Guy Peters & Jon Pierre

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781848608214.n14

Subject: Public Administration (general)

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Administrative State and Society: A Case Study of the United States of America
Administrative state and society: A case study of the United States of America

If we are finally to come to terms with the state in America … we will need a reassessment of the significance of our distinctive past. (Skowronek, 1982: 3)

In the United States the relationship between public administration and society has been an uneasy one. Throughout their history Americans have tried to pretend that the country could operate without public administrators. The United States Constitution describes a limited government — one that has only those powers specifically assigned to it — and, as is often pointed out, it does not directly address administrative issues (for example, Rohr, 1986: 1; Stillman, 1999: ...

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