3rd Edition

Public Administration in Theory and Practice

By Raymond W Cox III Copyright 2020
    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    Hailed for its timelessness and timeliness, Public Administration in Theory and Practice examines public administration from a normative perspective and provides students with an understanding of the practice of public administration. Combining historical, contextual, and theoretical perspectives, this text give students a truly comprehensive overview of the discipline and focuses on the practical implications of public administration theory. This substantially revised third edition features:

    • Increased emphasis on and expanded coverage of management skills, practices, and approaches, including an all-new "Managerial Toolkit" section comprising several new chapters on important topics like transboundary interactions, cultural competencies, citizen engagement, and leadership and decision-making.
    • Expanded part introductions to provide a thematic overview for students, reinforce the multiple conceptual frameworks or lenses through which public administration may be viewed, and provide guidance on the learning outcomes the reader may anticipate.
    • Still deeper examination of the connections between historic theoretical perspectives and current practices, to help students think through practical and realistic solutions to problems that acknowledge historic precedence and theory, yet also leave room for creative new ways of thinking. This expanded analysis also offers a forum for comparative perspectives, particularly how these practices have emerged in other countries.
    • PowerPoint slides, Discussion Questions (with a focus on practice), Learning Outcomes, and "Things to Ponder" at the end of each chapter that may be used as lecture topics or essay examination questions.

    Public Administration in Theory and Practice, third edition is an ideal introduction to the art and science of public administration for American MPA students, and serves as essential secondary reading for upper-level undergraduate students seeking a fair and balanced understanding of public management.

    Introduction and Overview

    Part I: Theoretical Foundations

    1. Theoretical Foundations

    2. Chapter Two --- Ethical Foundations

    Part II: Organizational Competencies

    3. Personnel Practices

    4. Budgeting Practices

    5. Administrative Law

    6. Policy Analysis

    7. Program Evaluation

    Part III: Managerial Toolkit

    8. Transboundary Interactions

    9. Cultural Competencies

    10. Citizen Engagement

    11. Organizational Dynamics and Change

    12. Leadership and Decision-making

    Part IV: Outside Looking In

    13. Comparative Perspectives

    14. Politics and Administration

    15. Concluding Thoughts


    Raymond W. Cox III is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies at the University of Akron.

    This book offers a succinct and clear roadmap to the field of public administration’s holy grail: enlightened praxis for public managers. That is, it presents how social-scientific theory can inform occupational practice in the setting of public organizations. It does this by focusing on the theoretical underpinnings of a set of approaches or tools for solving the common problems faced by public administrators in their day-to-day administrative routines. Among others, these problems include ethical challenges, the difficulties of intra and inter-organizational collaboration, making plans and carrying them out, and determining direction and change. 

    Bruce J. Perlman, University of New Mexico, USA



    The book seamlessly weaves together the normative and practical approaches to understanding public administration. It is a highly informative book that provides an in-depth understanding of the field for graduate and undergraduate students.

    Sucheta Pyakuryal, University of North Florida, USA


    This edition continues the standard of excellence of prior editions via its analysis of public administration, public management, and public policy and links to modern-day political and economic challenges. A strength of the book is the admirable way in which its chapters easily facilitate classroom learning, debates, critical analysis, and comparative considerations."

    – Kim Moloney, Murdoch University, Australia