A Great Books List for Government

Article excerpt

Summer and the time for "beach reads" is almost over. Perhaps now is the time to turn to the serious side and devote some time to reading, or rereading,something that might challenge you to think about your profession in public service. So where do you start?

For several decades, the National Academy of Public Administration has recognized outstanding contributions to the literature of public administration through the Louis Brownlow Book Award.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions on topics of wide contemporary interest to practitioners and scholars in the field of public administration. Generally, it is made to an author who provides new insights, fresh analysis, and original ideas that contribute to the understanding of the role of governmental institutions and how they can most effectively serve the public.

While such a list is by no means exhaustive of the valuable books in the field, it provides a perspective that can lead to further study on various topics. Listed below are some of the Brownlow Award winners from recent years to get you started.

2005

Government Matters, Lawrence Mead (Princeton University Press, 2004)

System Under Stress. Homeland Security and American Politics, Don Kettl (CQ Press, 2004)

Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector, Stephen Goldsmith and William D. Eggers (Brookings Institution Press, 2004)

2004

Preparing for the Future: Strategic Planning in the US. Air Force, Michael Barzelay and Colin Campbell (The Brookings Institution, 2003)

2003

Collaborative Public Management: New Strategies for Local Governments, Robert Argranoff & Michael McGuire (Georgetown University Press, 2003)

The Transformation of Governance, Donald F. Kettl (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002)

2002

Civil Servants and Their Constitutions, John A. Rohr (University of Kansas Press, 2002)

2001

Building a Legislative-Centered Public Administration: Congress and the Administrative State, 1946-1999, David Rosenbloom (University of Alabama Press, 2001)

2000

You Don't Always Get What You Pay For. The Economics of Privatization, Elliott D. …

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