Public Administration: An Introduction, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Public Administration

An Introduction, 3rd Edition

By Marc Holzer, Richard W Schwester


448 pages

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Paperback: 9781138579668
pub: 2019-08-13
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9781138579644
pub: 2019-08-13
Available for pre-order

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Now in a thoroughly-revised 3rd edition, Public Administration: An Introduction provides students at all levels with a readable, cutting-edge, and affordable introduction to the field of public management. In keeping with prior editions, authors Marc Holzer and Richard Schwester convey the best current thinking on public administration in a clear, conversational style. Carefully redesigned to address new developments in the field, this 3rd edition includes:

  • A new three-part structure to improve the logic of the text, from the theoretical foundations of public administration as a field of inquiry, to the effective management of human capital and organizations, to improving the efficiency and efficacy of public organizations.
  • An all-new chapter on data collection, identification, and use, including ‘big data.’
  • New material woven throughout the text to examine the ways in which the field of public administration has changed, particularly in trust in government, technology, a resurgence of interest in public and nonprofit service, reliance on government service delivery by states and localities, fiscal stress, and the implications of long-neglected investments in infrastructure.
  • All-new online student simulations to provide hands-on experience working with concepts introduced in the book, as well as case resources to supplement the featured case in each chapter. The rest of the Instructor’s Manual has been revised and includes full lesson plans with classroom activities to accommodate a broad range of teaching and learning styles, PowerPoint slides for each chapter, and long term project / student presentation ideas.

Crafted with student appeal in mind, each of the book’s chapters is generously illustrated with fine art, cartoons, and quotes—all designed to reinforce the book’s theme that the field of public administration is rooted in the cultural and political world. Public Administration: An Introduction, 3e is an ideal core textbook for courses in public and nonprofit administration, public management, public service, and public affairs.


The third edition of this already comprehensive and engaging textbook is a welcome addition for both students and instructors. Professors Holzer and Schwester have expertly woven together a robust discussion of theory, historical analysis, and striking visual displays in a manner that vividly depicts the importance of public administrative bodies in the United States. This is sure to capture the attention of students of public administration in a manner that contributes to professional preparation and success.

Alexander C. Henderson, Long Island University, USA

In their third edition of their superb and popular introductory textbook, Holzer and Schwester have done a remarkable job of capturing the contemporary themes that popular media and scholars discuss, while providing a thorough background of the historical and multifaceted development of the field. The language is straightforward, the graphics are exceptional, and—without losing an American focus—the sweep of the attention of Public Administration: An Introduction is more global than typically found in most introductory textbooks.

Montgomery Van Wart, California State University, USA

The third edition of Marc Holzer and Robert Schwester’s text provides those new to public administration with engaging introductions to a variety of topics in the field. Among the updates is a newly-added chapter on navigating and analyzing big data, which helps students better understand the role of big data analysis in public administration. This text assists student understanding of the main themes and concepts of each chapter in an easy manner by utilizing artwork, cartoons and quotes, as well as recent case studies. Moreover, the instructor’s guide contains several useful resources including PowerPoints, quizzes, video and web resources, and customizable lesson plans allowing instructors to be well-prepared for classes.

Taehee Kim, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, South Korea

Table of Contents

Part I: Foundations of Public Administration

1. What Public Administration Entails

2. Organization Theory and Management

3. Politics and Public Administration

4. Intergovernmental Relations

5. Ethics

Part II: Managing People and Administering Public Services

6. Human Resource Management

7. Public Decision Making

8. Leadership and Organizational Change

9. Public Budgeting and Fiscal Policy

Part III: Improving Efficiency and Efficacy of Public Organizations

10. Performance Measurement and Improvement

11. Data Collection

12. Program Evaluation and Policy Assessment

13. Technology and Social Media

14. The Future of Public Administration

About the Authors

Marc Holzer (PhD, University of Michigan) is Distinguished Professor at the Institute for Public Service, Suffolk University-Boston. He was previously University Professor and Founding Dean at the School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University. Prof. Holzer is extensively published, is a Past President of the American Society for Public Administration and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Richard W. Schwester (PhD, Rutgers University) is Associate Professor of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). His research centers on the use of technology in government, inter-local shared services, and police and emergency service delivery models. Professor Schwester is editor of the Handbook of Critical Incident Analysis (Routledge, 2012) and co-author of Public Administration in a Globalized World (2014).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General