Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Debating Public Administration

Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities, 1st Edition

Edited by Robert F. Durant, Jennifer R.S. Durant


367 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466502369
pub: 2012-10-26
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315095097
pub: 2017-09-25
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Dialog between practitioners and academics has increasingly become the exception rather than the rule in contemporary public administration circles. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities tackles some of the major management challenges, choices, and opportunities of the twenty-first century facing public managers across various subfields of public administration.

Informed by contemporary pressures on public managers to reconceptualize purpose, redefine administrative rationality, recapitalize human assets, reengage resources, and revitalize democratic constitutionalism, the book offers students, practitioners, and researchers an opportunity to take stock and ponder the future of practice and research in public administration. Organized by three sets of major management challenges facing the field—Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic, Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity, and Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges—the book takes an uncommon approach to the study of these topics. In it, leading practitioners and academics comment on condensed versions of articles appearing in the Theory to Practice feature of Public Administration Review (PAR) from 2006 through 2011.

The authors and commentators focus on some of the best current research, draw lessons from that literature for practice, and identify gaps in research that need to be addressed. They expertly draw out themes, issues, problems, and prospects, providing bulleted lessons and practical takeaways. This makes the book a unique one-stop resource for cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, and cross-professional exchanges on contemporary challenges.


"In the following chapters, thanks to the immense talent and hard work of the editors, authors, and commentators, readers can catch a rare, insightful glimpse of innovative minds at work within modern public administration—even by whom, why, what, where, and how creative innovation is accomplished throughout the field. And maybe, just maybe, they will draw the conclusion that right now American public administration lives in an incredible golden age."

—From the Foreword by Richard Stillman, Editor in Chief and Jos C. N. Raadschelders, Managing Editor, Public Administration Review, 2006-2011

Table of Contents

PART I: Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic

Chapter 1: Managing Successful Organizational Change in the Public Sector

Authors: Sergio Fernandez, Indiana University, and Hal G. Rainey, University of Georgia

Commentators: Patrick E. Connor and Fred Thompson, Willamette University

J. Christopher Mihm, Government Accountability Office

Mary Tschirhart, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Chapter 2: Back to the Future? Performance-Related Pay, Empirical Research, and the Perils of Persistence

Authors: James L. Perry, Trent A. Engbers, and So Yun Jun, Indiana University

Commentators: David J. Houston, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Sanjay K. Pandey, Rutgers University

Howard Risher, Risher Enterprises, Ltd.

Chapter 3: From "Need to Know" to "Need to Share": Tangled Problems, Information Boundaries, and the Building of Public Sector Knowledge Networks

Authors: Sharon S. Dawes, Anthony M. Cresswell, and Theresa A. Pardo, SUNY-Albany

Commentators: Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Indiana University

Sharon L. Caudle, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

Chapter 4: Toward "Strong Democracy" in Global Cities? Social Capital Building, Theory-Driven Reform, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Experience

Authors: Juliet Musso, University of Southern California; Christopher Weare, University of Southern California; Thomas Bryer, University of Central Florida; and Terry L. Cooper, University of Southern California

Commentators: Brian J. Cook, Virginia Tech

Tina Nabatchi, Syracuse University

John Clayton Thomas, Georgia State University

Chapter 5: Reinventing Administrative Prescriptions: The Case for Democratic-Constitutional Impact Statements and Scorecards

Author: David H. Rosenbloom, American University

Commentator: John M. Kamensky, IBM Center for the Business of Government

PART II: Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity

Chapter 6: Betting on the Future with a Cloudy Crystal Ball? How Financial Theory Can Improve Revenue Forecasting and Budgets in the States

Authors: Fred Thompson and Bruce L. Gates, Willamette University

Commentators: Roy T. Meyers, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Katherine G. Willoughby, Georgia State University

Chapter 7: Managing Public Service Contracts: Aligning Values, Institutions, and Markets

Authors: Trevor L. Brown, Ohio State University; Matthew Potoski, University of California-Santa Barbara; and David M. Van Slyke, Syracuse University

Commentators: Ruth H. DeHoog, University of North Carolina-Greensboro

Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Rutgers University-Newark

Thomas F. Reilly, Clark County, Nevada

Andrew B. Whitford, University of Georgia

Chapter 8: A Return to Spoils? Revisiting Radical Civil Service Reform in the United States

Authors: Stephen E. Condrey, Condrey and Associates, Inc., and R. Paul Battaglio, Jr., University of Texas-Dallas

Commentators: Frank D. Ferris, Executive Vice President, National Treasury Employees Union

Norma M. Riccucci, Rutgers University-Newark

Frank J. Thompson, Rutgers University-Newark

Chapter 9: A Solution in Search of a Problem? Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and the New Governance

Author: Sally Coleman Selden, Lynchburg College

Commentators: Domonic A. Bearfield, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

Lael R. Keiser, University of Missouri-Columbia

Sharon H. Mastracci, University of Illinois-Chicago

PART III: Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges

Chapter 10: Is the World "Flat" or "Spiky? Rethinking the Governance Implications of Globalization for Economic Development

Authors: Richard C. Feiock, Florida State University; M. Jae Moon, Yonsei University; and Hyung Jun Park, Sungkyunkwan University

Commentators: William Lyons, City of Knoxville, Tennessee and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Laura A. Reese, Michigan State University

John C. Morris, Old Dominion University, and Douglas J. Watson, University of Texas-Dallas

Chapter 11: Spanning "Bleeding" Boundaries: Humanitarianism, NGOs, and the Civilian-Military Nexus in the Post-Cold War Era

Author: Nancy C. Roberts, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

Commentator: Robert "Robin" H. Dorff, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Chapter 12: Left High and Dry? Climate Change, Common-Pool Resource Theory, and the Adaptability of Western Water Compacts

Authors: Edella Schlager, University of Arizona, and Tanya Heikkila, University of Colorado-Denver

Commentators: Elizabeth A. Graffy, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Wisconsin-Madison

About the Series

ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy

Founded in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the premier professional organization for public administration, dedicated to advancing its art, science, teaching and practice. The ASPA book series provides expert information on a range of public administration issues, each authored by a leader in the field. Series Editor David Rosenbloom is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at American University, USA.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: