Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities

Robert F. Durant, Jennifer R.S. Durant

October 26, 2012 by Routledge
Reference - 367 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781466502369 - CAT# K14434
Series: ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy


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  • Provides an uncommon exchange of thinking on key management topics by leading scholars and practitioners
  • Offers condensed versions of peer-reviewed research appearing in PAR by leading scholars in public administration
  • Includes overviews of the state of research in various management areas
  • Introduces readers to ongoing debates in various subfields of public administration from the perspective of leading scholars and practitioners
  • Demonstrates how theory can inform practice and vice versa as well as the challenge of doing so
  • Shows how exciting a career in public service can be by relating management to key policy areas
  • Presents lessons for public administrators that also serve as propositions suitable for elaboration, refinement, and hypothesis testing in future research


Dialog between practitioners and academics has increasingly become the exception rather than the rule in contemporary public administration circles. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities tackles some of the major management challenges, choices, and opportunities of the twenty-first century facing public managers across various subfields of public administration.

Informed by contemporary pressures on public managers to reconceptualize purpose, redefine administrative rationality, recapitalize human assets, reengage resources, and revitalize democratic constitutionalism, the book offers students, practitioners, and researchers an opportunity to take stock and ponder the future of practice and research in public administration. Organized by three sets of major management challenges facing the field—Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic, Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity, and Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges—the book takes an uncommon approach to the study of these topics. In it, leading practitioners and academics comment on condensed versions of articles appearing in the Theory to Practice feature of Public Administration Review (PAR) from 2006 through 2011.

The authors and commentators focus on some of the best current research, draw lessons from that literature for practice, and identify gaps in research that need to be addressed. They expertly draw out themes, issues, problems, and prospects, providing bulleted lessons and practical takeaways. This makes the book a unique one-stop resource for cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, and cross-professional exchanges on contemporary challenges.