1st Edition

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

By Gerald J. Miller Copyright 2012
    358 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    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.

    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



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