Administrative Ethics and Executive Decisions: Channeling and Containing Administrative Discretion, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Administrative Ethics and Executive Decisions

Channeling and Containing Administrative Discretion, 1st Edition

By Chad B. Newswander


136 pages

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As first responders to public problems, administrators must survey situations, identify solutions, and occasionally make executive decisions that are binding upon the government as a whole. The ability for administrators to assert claims that orient the government in a particular direction is not only powerful, but it can also be problematic and even dangerous.

For administrators, the tension between moving in a spirited way, and remaining sensible, is a problem of how to exercise one’s discretion, especially in the U.S. context, which demands that both be considered and actualized. In dealing with these competing expectations, Chad B. Newswander analyzes how administrators can incorporate executive, legislative, and judicial tendencies to help them handle the problem of discretion.

Expanding the thinking of the constitutional school of public administration thought, Administrative Ethics and Executive Decisions is a theoretically grounded and empirically rich study of how administrators incorporate a constitutional ethos to handle the problem of discretion.


'Chad Newswander’s fine book does something remarkably prudent: it puts civil servants at the heart, but not the helm, of the constitutional order. Through theoretical argument and practical example, he shows how their exercise of administrative discretion can be virtuous while staying in tune with the highest law of the land. A welcome next step in the development of a ‘Constitutional School’ in public administration.' - Patrick Overeem, Assistant Professor of Political Theory, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

'Bridging constitutional theory with constitutional practice, Newswander underscores the complexity of public sector decision making and the multitudinous challenges associated with the democratic governance process. His ability to demonstrate the connection between theory and practice makes this book a must read for academics, practitioners, and students of U.S. public administration.' - Stephanie P. Newbold, Associate Professor of Public Affairs & Administration, Rutgers University

Table of Contents

1. Uncovering the Executive

2. Channeling and Containing Executive Decisions: Executive Character

3. Channeling and Containing Executive Decisions: Legislative Tendencies

4. Channeling and Containing Executive Decisions: Judicial Temperaments

5. Channeling and Containing Executive Decisions: Employing Levels of Scrutiny

6. Guardians of the Regime

About the Author

Chad B. Newswander is a Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University-Idaho. His research focuses on administrative statesmanship, administrative ethics, administrative law, public administration education, and constitutional governance. His work has been published in Public Administration Review, Administration & Society, American Review of Public Administration, Administrative Theory & Praxis, and other outlets.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General