Government Budgeting and Financial Management in Practice : Logics to Make Sense of Ambiguity book cover
1st Edition

Government Budgeting and Financial Management in Practice
Logics to Make Sense of Ambiguity

ISBN 9781574447538
Published September 28, 2011 by Routledge
358 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The right turn in U. S. politics has increased conflict over both ends and means in government budgeting and financial management. Overlapping and competing views of the way the world works drive finance officials’ practice. Taking a new look at public financial management that acknowledges the multiple, competing realities, Government Budgeting and Financial Management in Practice: Logics to Make Sense of Ambiguity examines transaction cost economics and other small government, managed-by-the-market techniques as the latest reincarnation of public budgeting and financial management orthodoxy. Gerald J. Miller reviews new research on the continuing validity of the political dimension of government finance decisions and the multiple, intensely argued constructions of reality the finance official must make sense of.

Miller discusses major advances in interpretive approaches to budgeting and finance and how they dominate writing in the broader field of public administration. He also examines the effects of the explosion of information systems, new budget techniques, nonconventional ways of spending, and new technologies. The book uses a question as the motivating force to understand some facets of today’s government budgeting, finance, and financial management: where do the critical assumptions come from to drive financial management? Miller takes the history of reform, developments in the field and the logics finance officials say they use as sources for these assumptions and examines what they reveal about constructions of the government finance world.

Exploring new avenues of financial management thinking, the book discusses ambiguity and interpretations that move the unclear preferences, ends, and goals toward consensus. The author identifies an alternative approach to research that explains important facets of financial management. This approach is drawn directly from practice, events and problems in public organizations and from the creedal bent of many political actors in competition.

Table of Contents

Socially Constructed Decisions about Public Money
Financial Management as Socially Negotiated Process
The Study of Government Budgeting, Finance, and Financial Management
Organization of the Book

History of Government Budgeting and Finance Reforms
Normative Development of Government Budgeting and Finance
Coalition Convergence and Divergence in Three Stages
A Continuing and Episodic Struggle
The Right Turn in Politics and Related Developments

The Practice of Government Budgeting and Finance Is Interpretation
Practitioners Define Government Budgeting, Finance, and Financial Management
Theories about Finance Officials’ Work
What Is an Interpretation?
Conclusion: Summarizing Practice as Interpretation

Fiscal Policy Impacts in Public Finance
Fiscal Policy Impacts
Summary and Discussion

Conventional Budgeting with Targets, Incentives, and Performance, Gerald J. Miller, Donijo Robbins, and Jaeduk Keum

Movements toward the Performance-Based Reforms
Interrelations among Incentives, Certification, and Targets
The Research
Research Findings
Discussion and Conclusions

Budgeting for Nonconventional Expenditures, Gerald J. Miller and Iryna Illiash

The Budget Problem
Interpreting Control: A Matter of Substitutable Policy Tools
Budgeting Interpretations: The Social Construction Approach
Trade-Off Criteria, the Poor, and Welfare Policy
The Context That We Force to Emerge, That We Enact, That We Socially Construct

Budgeting Structures and Citizen Participation, Gerald J. Miller and Lyn Evers

How the Budget Processes Work
What Works toward Citizen Participation?
Participation Designs for Budgeting
Discussion and Summary

Revenue Regime Change and Tax Revolts
The Analytic Base and General Background
The Performance Budget Indices and Tax Revolts
Summary of Research Questions
Answering the Research Question
Discussion and Interpretation of the Results

Debt Management Networks, Gerald J. Miller and Jonathan B. Justice
The Bond Sale Process and Participants
Simulating Stable and Unstable Teams
Debt Networks and Normative Ambiguity in Practice

Auctioning Off the Farm with Tax Incentives for Economic Development, Donijo Robbins and Gerald J. Miller

Macro-Level Goals of Incentives
Micro-Level Goals of Incentives
The Research Problem
The Experiment
Data and Findings

The Larger Argument


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Gerald J. Miller (Arizona State University, School of Public Affairs, Phoenix, USA) (Author)