The contributors to this volume contend that the North American political system is undergoing a serious governmental crisis - political leaders know only how to campaign, not how to gain consensus on goals or direct a course that is to the good of the nation. Public administration is therefore forced to compensate for the growing inadequacy of the `leaders', and with a normative-based body of theorizing, perform its key role of governance within a democratic system of polycentric power. The book offers a revisualization of the relationship between public servants and the citizens they serve, and a continuing discourse on how public administration can constructively balance forces of change and stability in order for democr
Chapter 12: Thinking Government: Bringing Democratic Awareness to Public Administration
Thinking Government: Bringing Democratic Awareness to Public Administration
The project of refounding public administration in a way that legitimizes it and clarifies the role of public administration in our system of governance was begun by the authors of the Blacksburg Manifesto in the 1980s. Most of the discourse stimulated by that project has concentrated on surface issues of public administration and has neglected an underlying issue, one that frames much of our discourse about the field. This is unfortunate because the Blacksburg Manifesto and the Refounding book that followed it made an important but incomplete start toward reframing the way we think about governance itself.
I believe that the field cannot be successfully refounded unless its ...