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.

Administrative Traditions in Western Europe

Administrative traditions in Western Europe

It is the purpose of this chapter to trace some of the major historical developments that provide the background of today's public administrations. This will be done not for the sake of mere documentary information, but with the intention of delineating traditions and legacies of particular relevance to our contemporary scene. In other words, the following is an attempt to place the existing ‘administrative order’ in a longue durée perspective, regarding it as a continuation or an alteration of previous administrative regimes or -in some respects at least — as a reaction to them.

The account will focus on European public administrations in the four largest countries: France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. This choice is ...

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