Agenda for Excellence 2: Administering the State

Agenda for Excellence 2: Administering the State

Agenda for Excellence 2: Administering the State

Agenda for Excellence 2: Administering the State

Synopsis

This work examines questions central to the field of public adminstration and public policy. It is the second of two memorial Festschriften for Charles H. Levine, whose vision guided and inspired each of the contributors. He employed wide-ranging interests to make connections between contrary points: that adminstration while nonpartisan, can rarely be apolitical; and that while administrators need to apply principles and theories, they also need the benefits of experience and the intuition that frequently derives therefrom.

Excerpt

B. Guy Peters and Bert A. Rockman

Completing this manuscript is at once a joyous and a sad occasion for us. the joy is a natural response upon completing a project on which we have worked for a very long time. Moreover, we feel that this book and the articles in it make some important statements about what has happened with public administration over the past decade and the many challenges that remain. the process of governance has changed substantially over that time period, and this volume should help the reader understand what has happened and what the implications of those changes are.

As much joy as there may be about the completion of this project, it is tempered by our even greater sense of loss. We might have assembled a book of this sort without the untimely passing of Charles Levine, but it is not likely that it would have been the same. This book is the second of two memorial volumes for Charlie. As such, it contains the works of several of his friends and addresses a number of the themes with which he was involved during his professional career. It attempts to integrate some of the concerns of academics with those of the practitioners of public administration, just as Charlie did during his lifetime.

The eclecticism of this collection reflects the range of Charlie's work and of his friends. Thus, it reflects his wide-ranging value to the study of public administration. Although there are any number of experts on subdisciplines such as personnel, budgeting, and organization theory, Charlie was important to the field in that he could converse with experts in all these subdisciplines and command their respect. Similarly, he could talk to both academics and practitioners and help each group understand the other (and themselves) better. Also, toward the end of his career, Charlie became interested in comparative and international administration, and he was especially adept at explaining the intricacies of American government to non-

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