Administrative Traditions: Understanding the Roots of Contemporary Administrative Behavior

ISBN : 9780198297253

B. Guy Peters
256 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Contemporary public administration reflects its historical roots, as well as contemporary ideas about how the public bureaucracy should be organized and function. This book argues that there are administrative traditions that have their roots centuries ago but continue to influence administrative behaviour. Further within Western Europe, North America, and the Antipodes there are four distinctive administrative traditions: Anglo-American, Napoleonic, Germanic, and Scandinavian. These are not the only traditions however, and the book also explores administrative traditions in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Islamic world. In addition, the book contains a discussion of how administrative traditions of the colonial powers influenced contemporary administration in Africa, and how they continue to interact with traditional forms of governance. These discussions of tradition and persistence are also discussed in light of the numerous attempts to reform and change public administration. Some administrative traditions have been more capable than others of resisting attempts at reform, especially those associated with the New Public Management.


1 Understanding Comparative Bureaucracy
2 Administrative Traditions as an Approach to Comparative Bureaucracy
3 The Napoleonic Tradition
4 The Germanic Tradition
5 The Scandinavian Tradition
6 The Anglo-American Tradition
7 The European Union as a Distinctive Tradition?
8 Other Administrative Traditions
9 Transferring Traditions: The Colonial Experience
10 Persistence and Change in Public Administration


B. Guy Peters is Maurice Falk Professor of Government at the University of Pittsburgh, and founding President of the International Public Policy Association. He is also editor of the International Review of Public Policy and associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. His most recent books are Policy Problems and Policy Design (2018), The Politics of Bureaucracy (7th edition, 2017), Governance and Comparative Politics (with Jon Pierre, 2016), and Institutional Theory in Political Science (4th ed, 2019), and Governance, Politics and the State (2nd ed., with Jon Pierre 2020).