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.

Formal Theory and Public Administration

Formal theory and public administration

Formal theory involves the use of formal, mathematical logic to develop theories of individuals, groups, organizations and public institutions, and this chapter reviews the application of formal theory to public administration. Formalization can help us in a variety of ways to develop, explore and test theories of public administration (Hammond, 1996). First, formalization forces us to be as explicit as possible about the basic assumptions of our theories. Second, with our initial assumptions made explicit and expressed in some kind of symbolic notation, the rules of mathematics, such as calculus, geometry, or probability theory, can then be used to rigorously deduce the consequences of the assumptions. Third, formalization of a theory can help improve the quality ...

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