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Martin Lodge

In: Handbook of Public Administration

Chapter 36: Administrative Patterns and National Politics

Edited by: B. Guy Peters & Jon Pierre


Subject: Public Administration (general)

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Administrative Patterns and National Politics
Administrative patterns and national politics

Any assessment of the dynamics between administrative patterns and national politics reflects on a number of perennial debates in the field of public administration. Foremost, it relates to different conceptions of the roles, functions and relationship between politics and administration. Such distinctions build on Max Weber's diagnosis of the rise of bureaucratic legal rationality which challenges other types of authority, and Woodrow Wilson's often dismissed distinction between politics and administration (Wilson, 1887: 209–11). The dichotomy between politics and administration, where elected politicians decide and professional administrators implement political choices and maintain political authority, continues to attract much interest (Campbell and Peters, 1988; Aberbach and Rockman, 1994; Rutgers, 2001). While the normative (liberal democratic) argument and the ...

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