The International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration (IEPPA) is a magnificent contribution to the fields of public policy and public administration. Consisting of approximately 900 articles and 2,700 pages, it is a truly comprehensive, all-in-one-place inventory of the concepts, practices, issues, and theories that inform and define contemporary public policymaking, analysis, evaluation, management, and implementation. The JEPPA also includes entries on the individuals, commissions, and organizations that have made key contributions to these fields.
Although it is not meant for cover-to-cover reading, those who may read it that way will find that it is an exceptionally high-quality, up-to-date, readable, lucid, and accurate exposition of a tremendous quantum of what is known about public policy and administration. The "International" in the title is completely felicitous-these volumes cross national and cultural borders as well as intellectual ones. The IEPPA also covers both policy and administration. This is particularly welcome at a time when the two fields are being pulled in divergent directions by their conceptual frameworks and organization within universities. Although it may be possible to separate policy from administration analytically, in practice they are often thoroughly intertwined. The IEPPA will prove invaluable in making each field accessible to specialists in the other, as well as to generalists. In my view, there is no other work that comes even close to bringing together so much knowledge about public policy and administration. The IEPPA contains excellent contributions by a phenomenal array of leading scholars. The associate editors, who worked with these contributors, are all outstanding scholars. The result is a work that is authoritative and definitive. It will be the standard work to which one first turns to gain an understanding of the core terms, concepts, constructs, and techniques used by academics, students, and practitioners dealing with public policy and administration.
One could well wish that the IEPPA had been published earlier. It certainly would have helped to build knowledge and clarify key concepts at a time when the fields of public policy and administration were rapidly expanding. Nonetheless, the IEPPA arrives at a propitious time. The field of public management, in particular, is currently consolidating its knowledge base as a platform for developing better theories and applications. Whether a kind of fin de siécle intellectual housecleaning or a response to the substantial changes that are already upon us, we have been taking stock of what we know and believe, our analytic and conceptual tools, and our inadequacies. This broad effort is reflected in the proliferation of a variety of "handbooks" of various aspects of public management since the late 1980s. It is a sanguine process. New generations of scholars, policymakers, students, and administrative practitioners are inundated with such rapidly growing new knowledge and interpretation that they are at risk of losing touch with the old. Yet the body of thought and practice that developed over the past century with regard to public policy and administration continues to provide knowledge, technique, and insight into central issues that remain highly pertinent. Even reformers, "reinventors," and anarchists need to understand how and why the extant administrative technology developed before expecting to change it successfully.
The IEPPA has the great virtue of attending to the past while facing the future. It is an indispensable work that can help equip everyone engaged in the joint enterprise of public policy and administration to deal more effectively with the many challenges that the twenty-first century is certain to bring. If, as in an old sci-fi plot, a public official, manager, or administrator could bring only one book with him or her into the future, the IEPPA would surely be it.
Publication of the IEPPA is truly a landmark and cause for celebration in the fields of public policy and administration. Editor in Chief Jay Shafritz and his associate editors, Abdullah M. Al-Khalaf, Geert Bouckaert, Beverly A. Cigler, Peter Foot, Arie Halachmi, Richard D. Heimovics, Marc Holzer, Jerry L. McCaffery, J. Steven Ott, David O. Renz, Norma M. Riccucci, E. W. Russell, Larry D. Terry, and Kenneth F. Warren all deserve great thanks for designing, organizing, and seeing the project through.
DAVID H. ROSENBLOOM Distinguished Professor of Public Administration The American University Washington, D. C.