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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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Political Science
Political Science 2246E
Ross Gibbons

Chapter 1 The Nature of Public Administration What is Public Administration Emerges from at least six different fields and disciplinesSome view the subject broadly so as to include the entire process of running a modern government while others view it as narrowly confined to the administrative policies that government formulate such as laws regulating the hiring and firing of personnelSystematic and organized academic study of public administration is relatively young dating back around 1900 the practice of public admin is ancientHistory shows that in ancient China ad Egypt there were incredible feats of organiations as well as massive public bureaucracies red tape and corruption of the sort we often associate with contemporary bureaucracyThe roman catholic church kept many of the roman administrative practices alive during the dark ages and the rise of the enlightenment in seventeenthcentury Western Europe as well as the emergence of the modern nation state in Gernmany shortly thereafter contained the seeds of modern public administrationBy the 1800s the characteristics of contemporary systems of bureaucracy were emerging in Europe Great Britain the United States and CanadaView public admin from two perspectiveso It is a field of academic study derived from several disciplines including political science business administration sociology psychology law and economics o It is also a set of administrative practices and institutional arrangements geared toward proving public services and regulations through the public bureaucracy Professor Dwight Waldo draws an analogy between the study of public admin and that of medicine aspiring doctors must draw on a variety of science to prepare for their careers similarly practitioners of public administration educate themselves by drawing on a range of academic literatureThe first modern statement referring to public admin as a distinct professional field came in an essay written in 1887 by Woodrow Wilson Wilson argued that political scientists had ignored the fundamental question of how governments are administered o He advocated focusing on personnel organization and amagement of the public sector in the interest of greater efficiency and economyo Overlaying these concerns are others about the democratic nature of governingo Said that an important distinction needed to be made between politics and administration Served as the underpinning for the theory of the politicsadministration dichotomy Although a 1914 study entitled Canada and Its Provinces addressed some aspects of public administration and bureaucracy in Canada the first study looking at a particular problem in Canadian public administration was actually written in 1918 by two Americans
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