Public Administration: The Interdisciplinary Study of Government

ISBN : 9780199693894

Jos C. N. Raadschelders
280 Pages
164 x 241 mm
Pub date
Oct 2011
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Public administration seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of the internal structure and functioning of government, in all its complexity, and its interaction with society and its citizens. Public Administration: The Interdisciplinary Study of Government provides an account of the discipline, considering its history, growth, boundaries, and tunderlying assumptions. It tracks the emergence of the field against a background of the expanding conception of the state and the growth of public services, and situates it within the three branches of knowledge - natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It maps out the sources of knowledge of public administration, and how this is fragmented within the discipline's specializations, the social sciences, and government and society at large. It examines how leading authors map the discipline, the application of different theories, the associated schools of thought and intellectual debates, and the role of knowledge integration. Scholars in public administration have initiated much debate as to whether it should be treated as a science, a craft or profession, or an art. This book argues that to develop a comprehensive understanding of government and its complexity requires a truly interdisciplinary approach.


1. Framing the Nature of the Study of Public Administration: Origins, Identity Crises, Maturity, and Conceptual Mapping
2. Science or Wissenschaft: Public Administration among the Three Branches of Knowledge
3. Public Administration and the Fragmentation of its Knowledge Sources: Academic Specialties and Disciplines, Organizational Units, and Societal Organizations
4. Substantive Topics and Comprehensive Conceptual Maps of Public Administration
5. Bogey Man, Doctor's Bag, Artist's Medium: The Dynamic Arena of PA-theory
6. Four Intellectual Traditions in the Study of Public Administration
7. Public Administration's Canon(s) of Integration
8. The Nature of and Intellectual challenges to the Study of Public Administration

About the author: 

Jos C.N. Raadschelders received his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. His research interests, among others, include administrative history, the nature and intellectual development of public administration, and comparative civil service systems. He is the managing editor of Public Administration Review.

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