The Human Resource Crisis in the Public Sector: Rebuilding the Capacity to Govern

The Human Resource Crisis in the Public Sector: Rebuilding the Capacity to Govern

The Human Resource Crisis in the Public Sector: Rebuilding the Capacity to Govern

The Human Resource Crisis in the Public Sector: Rebuilding the Capacity to Govern

Synopsis

In this volume, Lane and Wolf examine the significant personnel problems now confronting federal agencies, addressing these issues from a demographic, social, and financial perspective. Arguing that the revitalization of the public service demands an effective, responsible, energetic, and committed workforce, they recommend concrete solutions and strategies aimed at stabilizing the current situation and contributing to a stronger and more effective public service.

Excerpt

Responsibilities must be shared by citizens, politicians, and career public servants for the American system of popular sovereignty and limited government to work. Today, it is not working well. It is not simply public service which is in trouble; citizenship and politics are also.

--Chester A. Newland (1984)

At the highest level of generality, this book addresses the complex issues of governance in a democratic polity. At a more specific level, it focuses on the concept of the capacity to govern, with a precise look at those actions which will be required to revitalize America's public service. Such a revitalization is necessary not only to assure capable and effective operation of governmental organizations, but also as an essential contribution to the American democratic political system.

The core of democratic politics is a dialogue concerning national purposes. This dialogue is reflected in the excitement of the election process, which is a critical first step in representative government. However, the actual work of governance goes on long after the excitement of elections, after enactment of laws, and after the development of administrative policy. Ideology and rhetoric stir the emotions, but laws and policies are not self-actuating--little that is tangible or meaningful can happen until administration, the action arm of the political process, is mobilized.

Implementation of the will of the people can only occur through administration--through the action processes of governance. A crucial dimension of politics is the authoritative allocation of values, but it is administration that shapes and implements that allocation. Without administration, political dialogue is impotent. It is only through the concrete . . .

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