The Politics of the Administrative Process
In a democracy, efficient public administration is after a delicate balance: the bureaucracy must be powerful enough to be effective, yet accountable to elected officials and the people. Kettl and Fesler understand that the push and pull of political forces make the functions of bureaucracy ever more contentious, but no less crucial to governance.
Based on reviewer feedback, and given advances in scholarship and in practice, the authors introduce the crucial topics of ethics, accountability, and leadership early on, utilizing these central ideas as touchstones throughout the book. While this text continues to focus on the core components of public administration—such as budgeting, personnel, and implementation—it’s been thoroughly updated to cover recent developments, including administrative issues spotlighted during the 2008 presidential campaigns, the use of technology in government management, and the changing face of the federal workforce. Fully updated tables and figures feature a wealth of current data, and photos add visual context to the book’s core concepts.
What was an appendix showcasing fourteen case studies in the previous edition is now a set of fully-integrated case studies—one in each chapter—that challenges students to apply ideas and analysis as they go. Each case emphasizes the people on the front lines at the local, state, and federal levels with topics ranging from Taser use in law enforcement to the recent economic bailout. Useful discussion questions at the end of each case help shape student responses and in-class conversation.