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In Search of the State of the Discipline of Public Administration: The Future is Promising. Book review essay on The Future of Public Administration around the World: The Minnowbrook Perspective & The State of Public Administration: Issu

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In Search of the State of the Discipline of Public Administration: The Future is Promising. Book review essay on The Future of Public Administration around the World: The Minnowbrook Perspective & The State of Public Administration: Issues,
  Book Review 1 Naim Kapucu is associate professor inthe School of Public Administration at theUniversity of Central Florida. His researchand teaching interests include emergencyand crisis management, collaborative gov-ernance, and organizational learning anddesign. His book Network Governancein Response to Acts of Terrorism:Comparative Analyses will be publishedin 2012 by Routledge. E-mail: Book Review Public Administration Review  ,Vol. xx, Iss. xx, pp. xx–xx. © 2012 byThe American Society for Public Administration.DOI: 10.111/j.1540-6210.2012.02578.x. Rosemary O’Leary, David M. Van Slyke, and Soonhee Kim, eds., Te Future of Public Administrationaround the World: Te Minnowbrook Perspec-tive (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010). 336 pp. $ 49.94 (cloth), ISBN:9781589017122;   $29.95 (paper), ISBN:9781589017115.Donald C. Menzel    and Harvey L. White, eds., Te Stateof Public Administration: Issues, Challenges, andOpportunities (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2011).528 pp. $119.95 (cloth), ISBN: 9780765625045;$59.95 (paper), ISBN: 9780765625052. I have two well-designed and well-executedvolumes in front of me. I am very familiar with the background of each, having attendedthe Minnowbrook III Conference in 2008, whichproduced the first volume, as well as several AmericanSociety for Public Administration panels, which gavebirth to the second. Te two books encompass severalcreative topics and provide intriguingly differentperspectives. Let me start with common elementsacross the two and then take up each book in turn.Both volumes address the state of the discipline,review leading theoretical issues, and pointtoward future directions for research and practice.Collaborative or democratic governance, theexpanding use of information technology, and theimpact of globalization are highlighted frequently in each. Both address issues of emergency and crisismanagement in a specific chapter, and this topic is woven through several other chapters. As a scholar who has personally conducted research on the topic,I especially appreciated seeing emergency and crisismanagement treated as a quintessential function of public administration. Each volume also exemplifiestrends in research methods, as described, for example,in Raadschelders and Lee (2011).Each book at once represents a snapshot of currentpublic administration trends as well as a contributionto an ongoing conversation about the “pragmatistrestructuring of the profession and the discipline”(Harmon 2006). Both volumes also raise morequestions than they answer, which to me is a usefuldemonstration of the health of the discipline.ogether, these volumes set a research agenda forstudents of public administration for a long timeto come. Donald C. Menzel and Harvey L. White’svolume tends to focus on big questions, with goodcoverage of the subject matter. Rosemary O’Leary,David M. Van Slyke, and Soonhee Kim similarly posebig questions while also depicting public administra-tion from global perspectives, with shorter chapters. The Future of Public Administration aroundthe World: The Minnowbrook Perspective Tis book is a selection of papers by “seasoned,new, and in between” scholars presented at theMinnowbrook III Conference in 2008 (xiii). Among the wide range of topics addressed in detail are thediscipline’s relevance, trends in public performancemanagement, public budgeting and finance,global comparative perspectives, the impact of information communication technologies, law andpublic administration, management and leadership,methodological issues, cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives, networks in public policy and management, social justice, values and theoriesof public administration, and accountability. Tebook successfully addresses these challenging andcomplex issues and contributes significantly tothe development of the discipline—as did the twoprior Minnowbrook conferences (Marini 1971;Frederickson and Mayer 1998). All three conferenceshave addressed the importance of keeping our publicadministration frameworks relevant to social andpolitical life as we experience it in the United States(and, increasingly, around the globe). Tis criticalissue is highlighted in virtually every chapter.Te book starts with a comprehensive introductory chapter by the editors that compares the threeMinnowbrook conferences’ impact on the Te State of the Discipline of Public Administration: TeFuture Is Promising  Sonia M. Ospina and Rogan Kersh, EditorsNaim Kapucu University of Central Florida  2 Public Administration Review • xxxx | xxxx 2012 (along with interdisciplinarity, the need for a greaterbase, and interdependence and complexity). Tissection addresses the challenges and opportunities thatexpanding global perspectives pose for the disciplineof public administration in research, education, andpractice. Complex interdependent public administra-tion (and policy) issues are examined in a comparativecontext, including “environmental policy [andmanagement], financial crises, disaster manage-ment, crime, national security, terrorism, migration,trade policy, health policy, and food and drug safety”(80). Chapter 8, by Bidhya Bowornwathana, pro-vides a brief survey of development in comparativepublic administration and suggests theory-drivencomparative administrative reform research (fromregional, case-based, global, and one-country tracks)using a “common conceptual umbrella of governanceand public management” (89) as a framework. Inchapter 9, Yilin Hou recommends a new paradigmfor global comparative public administration thatacknowledges comparative studies as “equivalent togeneral public administration.” Te final chapterin this part, by Ora-Orn Poocharoen, recommendsmore comparative public administration research incontribution to teaching and intellectual developmentof the discipline. Part III: Collaboration.   Collaboration, networks,and reciprocity were also widely discussed topics atthe conference. Te edited volume defines collabora-tive public management as “the process of facilitating and operating in multiorganizational arrangementsto solve problems that cannot be solved easily by single organizations” (107). In chapter 11, SoonheeKim emphasizes the need for more “theoretical andcomparative” research for “collaborative leadershipand local governance in a national and internationalcontext” (115) in global communities to increaselocal governance capacities. Chapter 12, by MichaelMcGuire, Jeffrey L. Brudney, and Beth Gazley,provides a brief history of the development of theemergency management profession. Te authorsexpect more emphasis on horizontal collabora-tion, the balance between incident command anddecentralized decision making, and more focus onresiliency, mitigation, and preparedness during the“new emergency management” period. In chapter 13,Teresa J. Pardo, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, and Luis F.Luna-Reyes provide an information technology–enabled framework for collaborative governance.Public managers are expected to play more of a “boundary spanner” role in multiagency settings withinteroperable information technology infrastructures.Te last chapter in this section, by Kirk Emerson andPeter Murchie, uses collaborative governance as a construct involving multiple sectors (public, private,and nonprofit) and citizens in solving complex publicpolicy problems in the case of environmental policy and climate change. For Emerson and Murchie,“intellectual history” of public administration. Treekey issues of disciplinary development are raised:the balance between democracy and bureaucracy (inreference to Waldo 1971), the role of governmentin governance, and interdisciplinary perspectives insolving complex policy and administration problems.o address these issues, the latest conference identifiedsix key themes, around which the book is organ-ized: the study of public organizations in the future,global and comparative perspectives, collaborativegovernance, democratic governance and publicparticipation, scholarship of teaching and learning,and the discipline’s continued relevance in addressing public problems. Part I: Studying and Managing Public Organizations of the Future. Te first chapter, by Donald P. Moynihan, introduces the “democraticperformance governance” framework andrecommends a needed move away from the narrow focus on effi ciency, effectiveness, and rationality to a broader perspective in performance evaluation andmanagement. Te framework seems well specified,though empirical testing and practical examples will determine its utility and durability. Te secondchapter, by Suzanne J. Piotrowski, highlights theneed for a “coherent public administrative strategy toprioritize non-mission-based values in public-sectororganizations” (27) and demonstrates the use of transparency in public management with examples.In chapter 3, Mary E. Guy, Meredith A. Newman,and Sharon H. Mastracci address a neglected publicservice skill—emotion—and recommends a “wholeman” perspective from public administrationscholars in understanding public sector employees(34). Chapter 4, by Domonic Bearfield, addressesinclusiveness and diversity in public administration.Te chapter opens the discussion with an excellentobservation of Barack Obama’s election campaign in2008 and criticizes public administration scholars’treatment of the issue. Bearfield states that “[u]nlikeprevious black candidates … Obama did not run a race-based campaign. Instead, when he spoke of issuesaffecting members of the black community, he wouldfrequently frame them in the context of the strugglesfaced by all Americans” (45). Chapter 5, by Susan .Gooden, discusses the role of public administrationresearch in addressing social inequalities and build-ing community capacities. In chapter 6, Kimberley R. Isett promotes evidence-based organizational andsystems design for public sector organizations. Tefinal chapter in this part, by Dale Jones and AustenGivens, places public administration at the center of the interdisciplinary profession of homeland security (and emergency management) for education, research,and practice. Part II: Globalization.   Te issue of globalization was discussed in almost every panel at the conference  Book Review 3 governance, Leighninger identifies promising changesin the curriculum, such as “placing more emphasison the concepts and skills of leadership, facilitation,conflict resolution, deliberation, recruitment, onlinetechnologies, and participatory process design”(243). Tese critical skills cannot be learned withoutbringing together theory and practice through servicelearning and other experiential learning strategies. Part VI: Remaining Relevant. Relevance is probably one of the most critical challenges that publicadministration, as both an applied and a professionaldiscipline, continues to face. o remain relevant, thediscipline must have a usable framework for researchand education. Te authors in this part try to do just that. Chapter 23, by Van Slyke, reminds us how much public administration learned from otherdisciplines, such as economics, management, sociol-ogy, and political science, and acknowledges thatothers can learn from public administration researchas well. o accomplish this, Van Slyke recommendsthat public administration scholarship use rigorousmethodology, publish in interdisciplinary venues, andseek to inform policy makers and the public at large.In chapter 24, Kristina Lambright highlights network management skills, as in other chapters in the book,and recommends links between theoretical work andpractice in this regard. Chapter 25, by Kelly LeRoux,encourages public administration scholars to con-duct more empirical research and develop theoreticalframeworks in understanding the reality of collabora-tive governance. In chapter 26, Bradley E. Wrightexpects more public administration research in themainstream management field. Chapter 27, by BethGazley, rightly emphasizes the importance of inter-disciplinary perspectives and focuses on the capacity of a node (actor) in collaborative network settings. Interms of teaching collaborative public management,Gazley suggests that “academic curricula will need tobecome more inclusive, and academic departments will need to become either more diverse internally or more willing to allow students to seek courseselsewhere” (277).Te book’s concluding chapter, by Van Slyke,O’Leary, and Kim, reviews the state of publicadministration, highlighting issues, challenges,opportunities, and crosscutting themes (282). Teimpact of globalization on the discipline is identifiedas one of the critical issues associated with interde-pendence and collaborative public management andgovernance. A third challenge, the editors aver, isthe role of information technology (in areas such asdemocratic governance, globalization, civic engage-ment, and knowledge sharing). Another is delibera-tive democracy and public participation (including mechanisms, processes, and management). Finally,the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives andcollaboration and data sharing among the scholars“adaptive management” (149) and accountability arecritical elements of an integrated collaborative govern-ance mechanism. Te construct of “collaboration as a research, training, and practice agenda is a formidablechallenge [and an opportunity] for the field” (109). Part IV: Deliberative Democracy and Public Participation. Te chapters in this part addresspublic participation in public decision making. Inchapter 15, ina Nabatchi recommends that prac-titioners and scholars take deliberative democracy seriously, which she defines as “infusing governmentdecision making with the reasoned discussion andcollective judgments of citizens” (159). Chapter 16,by John Clayton Tomas, addresses collective actionproblems and provides some design principles forpublic managers, such as when and how to engage thepublic in public administration. In chapter 17, InesMergel presents social media perspectives for “goodgovernance” in the future of public administration.Te contributions provide examples and principlesfor building the capacity of democratic governance inlocal governments and the public. Part V: eaching the Next Generation of Leaders. Inthis section, the chapters address the competencies of public administrators in the future and set an agenda for the scholarship of teaching and learning in thediscipline. In chapter 18, Scott E. Robinson comparesthe competitiveness of master of public administra-tion (MPA) programs to more specialized programs,especially those similar to the MPA or that came outof the MPA program, and provides a framework thatcan help distinguish MPA programs from others.Robinson recommends that MPA programs shouldinclude networking and boundary-spanning skills andtools to become distinct and competitive. Chapter 19,by Guy B. Adams and Danny L. Balfour, recom-mends that public service ethics be included in MPA curricula in the future and envisions that demo-cratic governance will become a key framework. Teauthors acknowledge the development of research innetworks and collaboration in public administrationand identify a “badly needed” focus “on the ethics of cross-sectoral relationships” (207). Chapter 20, by David H. Rosenbloom and Katherine C. Naff, recom-mends incorporating administrative law into MPA curricula to strengthen public administrators’ decisionmaking capacity and ability to operate effectively indemocratic systems that require accountability andresponsiveness. In chapter 21, Justin Marlowe andDaniel L. Smith highlight the importance of bringing together public management and public financialmanagement, two important subdisciplines of publicadministration, in future teaching and research.Chapter 22, by Matt Leighninger, examines the rela-tionships between public administration and demo-cratic governance based on interviews with influentialscholars in the discipline. o strengthen democratic  4 Public Administration Review • xxxx | xxxx 2012 Shields and Nandhini Rangarajan, shares perspectivesand observations from the “usable past” on women’scontributions to the profession, highlighting a few key examples (Florence Nightingale, Mary Livermore,and Jane Addams). In chapter 4, Wendy Haynes andBeth Gazley discuss professional associations in publicadministration and their role in public service excel-lence through professional development opportuni-ties. In chapter 5, Jeffrey Raffel, Steven M. Maser, andCrystal Calarusse provide historical perspectives onthe National Association of Schools of Public Affairsand Administration’s accreditation and changes inthe standards for the profession of public administra-tion for public service workers “educated for jobs thatinvolve solving public problems, again, across sectors”(74). Chapter 6, by Montgomery Van Wart, summa-rizes recent trends in research on administrative lead-ership. Chapter 7, by Menzel, highlights ethics andintegrity for the profession and proposes an agenda on“postmodern ethics.” Part II: Public Management Issues.   Tis sectionaddresses better management strategies for thepublic sector. In chapter 8, Norma Riccucci presentschallenges facing the public service workforce froma human resource and labor relations perspective(performance and succession planning, for example).In chapter 9, Irene Rubin analyzes instruments forimproving public budgeting performance, comparing early public management practices, and rightly recommends the integration of policy and budgeting.Chapter 10, by Judith R. Saidel, discusses the role of the third sector (civil society or nonprofits) in provid-ing public services. Chapter 11, by Melvin J. Dubnick and Kaifeng Yang, focuses on accountability in demo-cratic governance from methodological and theoreticalperspectives. In chapter 12, Stuart I. Bretschneiderand Ines Mergel discuss the impact of informationcommunication technologies on collaborative publicgovernance. Chapter 13, by William L. Waugh, Jr.,sketches the development of the emergency and crisismanagement profession as a quintessential role of public administration and government and providesfuture directions for researching emergency and crisismanagement. Part III: Networking and Partnership.   Networking and partnership, in addition to being a stand-alonesection in both volumes, are highlighted in severalchapters in both volumes. Chapters in this partaddress the role of networks as innovative and neces-sary ways in creating public value in a democraticsociety. Chapter 14, by Nicholas Henry, takes up thetopic of partnerships, using the complex relationshipsbetween federal employees and contractors. Henry states that “[n]owhere in the academic community isit more relevant to practicing public administratorsthan in clarifying the complexities of contracting”(234). In chapter 15, erry L. Cooper definesof public administration is highlighted. According tothe editors, “Te field of public administration willcontinue to be challenged to be more creative andrelevant in its scholarship and in its practice for many years to come” (293). The State of Public Administration: Issues,Challenges, and Opportunities Tis volume addresses contemporary scholarshipon public administration and practice, again featur-ing both “known” and “aspiring” scholars. Similarto Te    Future of Public Administration around the World, it addresses issues, challenges, and opportuni-ties facing the discipline. Te book addresses, moreexplicitly than the other volume under review, theimpacts of major disasters (including 9/11, HurricaneKatrina, and SARS) on public administration: thisissue is highlighted throughout the book, along witha chapter dedicated to emergency and crisis manage-ment. Tis book is also more attentive to currentpolicy issues and future trends, in response to theeditors’ explicit request. Major “impact factors”identified in this volume, much as in the previousone,   are globalization, development in informationtechnology and communication, complexity, andcultural and political changes.Te volume opens with a chapter by Laurence E.Lynn, Jr., on public administration theory. Lynnprovides an applicable framework for public admin-istration scholars (this reviewer would have likedto see the framework followed more closely in thebook’s chapters) and applies different perspectives to“professional practice.” Lynn sees “heterodoxy” as theidentity for our inherently multidisciplinary disci-pline rather than a “threat to that identity” (4). Heconcludes that “[the] achievement of an integrated,more coherent understanding of public administra-tion that resolves the identity long perceived by many  within the profession is not only a vain hope; it is a misguided one” (18). From a positivist perspective,“[w]ell executed, theory-based empirical research canbe insightful about practical matters” in the discipline(19). Normative scholarship should demonstrate “thatthey can do better than positivists when confronting administrative problems as they present themselves inpractice” (19). Part I: Te Profession.   Te chapters in this partdeal with public administration as a profession.Chapter 2, by James S. Bowman and Jonathan P. West, addresses the changes and reforms in theprofession from a human resource management/public personnel perspective. Te authors see publicadministration as “an ethical activity” (33). Te key issue for public administration is, as the constitu-tional framers faced, “produc[ing] the conditions fora responsive government by effectively managing theprofessional civil service” (33). Chapter 3, by Patricia   Book Review 5 and diversity in public service from reform andgovernance perspectives. Part V: International and Global Challenges.   International and global perspectives are identifiedas major issues in both volumes. In chapter 24, AlanLawton and Frederique Six treat the New PublicManagement movement as a major global admin-istrative reform as well as an academic concept,drawing lessons from this joint treatment for publicadministration. Chapter 25, by Jamil Jreisat, discussesthe principles of good governance and professionalstandards and values for public administration andgovernance globally (in both political and admin-istrative spheres). Chapter 26, by Louis A. Picard,addresses the evolution of development management.Tis chapter highlights capacity building efforts indeveloping countries, the impact of internationaldonors on development administration, and thedecline of “state-centric focus on developmentadministration” (439).Te final chapter in the volume, by David Schultz,focuses on the recent economic crisis, beginning inthe fall of 2008, and traces its implications for publicadministration: boldly, the author concludes that“[h]ow well it performs will determine the futureof the profession” (408). I found this to be one of the best chapters in the volume, neatly adding toLynn’s overview in the volume’s first chapter. Schultzexamines the role of public administration in a contemporary global world, deftly framing chal-lenges as possible opportunities for the discipline.Schultz identifies five levels or orders of theorizing in public administration: why government, specificfunctions of government (what should governmentdo?), ideology (querying which values or interestsshould be promoted by government), what publicadministration should do, and effi cient and effectivepublic organization management and policy imple-mentation. Te ultimate assessment: most currentresearch addresses lower order questions. “Publicadministration theory, then, cannot be understood without reference to how government is connectedto society and … to the economy” (456). Moreemphasis should be given to higher-order (first andsecond) theorizing in future research. Capping thisbook’s genuine contribution to the discipline, thischapter points us toward enduring models of inquiry and philosophy of science in public administra-tion (cf. Riccucci 2010). I hope that many studentsand scholars of public administration will take therecommendations in this chapter seriously in helping advance the discipline in the future. Conclusion I truly enjoyed reading both of these real contribu-tions to the advancement of the discipline. akentogether, the 50-plus chapters across these two bookscollaborative public management as citizen-engagedpublic administration (in addition to partnershipsand networks), using Los Angeles neighborhoodcouncils as an example. Te chapter provides a brief development of citizen engagement in publicadministration and predicts that a visible “progress indemocratization in the administrative state throughcitizen-driven public administration” (254) can bemade. Chapter 16, by Louise Comfort, Clayton Wukich, Steve Scheinert, and Leonard Huggins,addresses the role of networks in creating resilientsystems of metropolitan governance, with a particularfocus on network science. Te chapter concludes withthe need for a framework enabling measuring andstrengthening governance. Without this, “it is diffi cultfor policy makers to craft viable strategies to managethe uncertainty generated by dynamic interactionsamong public, private, and nonprofit organizationsin the daily operations of a metro region” (268).Chapter 17, by Robert Agranoff, one of the leading scholars in collaborative governance, addresses thechallenges of management, leadership, the externalrole of public managers, and design within networks.Building sustainable relationships to solve commonproblems within networks requires establishing “com-munities of practice.” Part IV: Governance and Reform.   Tis sectionexplores recent administrative reforms in publicadministration and governance designed to providebetter service to the public. Some of the chaptersrelate closely to those in previous parts. Chapter 18,by Deil S. Wright, Carl W. Stenberg, and Chung-Lae Cho, analyzes governance as intergovernmentalrelations and administration. Te authors recommendthat the discipline clarify the terms “governance,”“collaboration,” and “networking,” reminding readersthat “we are all partially in charge” (citing Cleveland2000, 297). Te authors conclude that “responsivepublic management through collaboration andnetworking occurs in a framework of responsibledemocratic governance” (310). In chapter 19,Beverly A. Cigler treats federalism as a horizontalrelationship, with a focus on the internationaliza-tion of states and local government, state–localrelations, and intermunicipal relations, and proposesseveral excellent research questions to be addressedby scholars in the future. In chapter 20, Robert F.Durant and John Marvel propose a new framework in understanding interrelationships between policy,politics, and administration in a dynamic govern-ance system. Chapter 21, by Stephen E. Condrey and Jonathan P. West, addresses civil service reform in theUnited States, using Georgia and Florida as examples.Chapter 22, by David H. Rosenbloom, emphasizes, in ways echoing a related chapter in Te    Future of Public  Administration around the World, the role of admin-istrative law in public administration. In chapter 23, White addresses the critical issues of inclusiveness
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