1932

Abstract

Political theory is rediscovering the colossus of public administration—the vast public service and regulatory bureaucracies and their countless employees and extensions that conduct the daily business of government. This review explains how something so visible could ever have fallen from view, and surveys four burgeoning areas of research. These pertain to the legitimacy of public administration, to the articulation of standards of good government distinct from good public policy, to the analysis of how the moral agency of bureaucrats is implicated and undermined by the everyday operation of bureaucratic agencies, and to how we should conceptualize the state when we apprehend it through the seemingly banal routines of administration. What emerges from this body of work is a picture of the executive bureaucracy as an object of normative, critical, and conceptual inquiry on a par with the other two branches of government, the legislature and the judiciary.

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2022-05-12
2024-06-17
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