This widely acclaimed work provides a lively counterbalance to the standard assessment-measurement-accountability prescriptions that have made showing you did your job more important than actually doing it. Now extensively revised, it articulates a postmodern theory of public administration that challenges the field to redirect its attention away from narrow, technique-oriented scientism, and toward democratic openness and ethics.The authors incorporate insights from thinkers like Rorty, Giddens, Derrida, and Foucault to recast public administration as an arena of decentered practices. In their framework, ideographic collisions and everyday impasses bring about political events that challenge the status quo, creating possibilities for social change. "Postmodern Public Administration" is an outstanding intellectual achievement that has rewritten the political theory of public administration. This new edition will encourage everyone who reads it to think quite differently about democratic governance.
Preface; 1. The Representative Democratic Accountability Feedback Loop; Orthodoxy; Positivism in Public Administration; Deconstructing the Loop Model; 2. Alternatives to Orthodoxy; Neoliberalism; The Constitutionalist Alternative; Communitarian/Citizen Alternative; 3. Hyperreality; Instability and Incommensurability; Unstable Signs Leading to a Virtual Reality; Neotribalism and the Decentered Self; Symbolic Politics; Hyperreality Versus the Alternatives; 4. The Social Construction of Government; Constructivist Social Theory; Governmentality; 5. Ideographic Discourse; Symbols as Ordering Devices; Ideography; Relief from Dissonance; Events, Impasses, and the Authority of the Archives; Ideographic Events; 6. Conclusion; Orthodoxy and Its Alternatives; Media-Infused Hyperreality; Constructivism and Governmentality; A Field of Political Contestation; The Changing Game; Decoherence; Implications; References; Name Index; Subject Index.