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 2: Fencing in the Inherently Governmental Debate
Fencing in the Inherently Governmental Debate
Within our folk wisdom, proverbs oppose. “Good fences make good neighbors,” says a farmer in Robert Frost's (1967) “Mending Wall,” yet in the same poem the farmer's neighbor remarks that “Something there is doesn't love a wall.” The history of the debate surrounding the definition of that which is public and that which is private is no exception to opposing proverbs. Whether to build a good fence of precise definitions of the activities belonging to each sector or to promote more penetrable, ambiguous boundaries among the sectors reverberates both through the literature and action surrounding the questions of public and private responsibilities. One of the basic aims of Refounding ...