This major international handbook provides a complete review and guide to past and present knowledge in this essential field of inquiry. Assembling an outstanding team of scholars from around the world, it comprehensively explores the current state of the art in academic thinking and the current structures and processes for the administration of public policy following this period of rapid transformation and change.
Section 8: Administration and Society
The central question to be addressed in this section is how public support and legitimacy for the public administration affects its ability to conduct its role in society, especially to implement policies according to the intentions of political rulers. Such a society-centered perspective on public administration is broader and to some extent different from the classical ‘tool’ questions that focus on the possibilities for politicians to steer the bureaucracy according to their intentions. Empirical research in this society-centered approach is relatively young while the theoretical questions were posed long ago. It should be remembered that both Karl Marx and Max Weber took a stand on this problem. After the fall of the Paris Commune in 1871, Marx wrote that it ...