1st Edition

Administrative Ethics and Executive Decisions
Channeling and Containing Administrative Discretion

ISBN 9781138280700
Published October 2, 2017 by Routledge
136 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

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.

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


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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.


'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