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 4: What a Difference a State Makes: Reflections on Governance in France
What a Difference a State Makes: Reflections on Governance in France
Political scientists often observe that American government rests on a weak notion of the state, contrasting it with governments in countries like France that enjoy a strong-state tradition. The purpose of this chapter is to consider concretely the differences a strong or weak state might make for administrative governance. I stress concretely to distinguish my efforts from the analytical work of those who examine the meaning of the state as a philosophical or juridical concept.1 If a refounding of American public administration is in our future, it may be helpful to examine the practical limitations our weak-state tradition ...