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MPAD. 5010: Foundations of Public Administration

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oil painting of alexander hamilton
Alexander Hamilton  Artstor Collections
Portrait by John Trumbull, 1806

Welcome to Foundations of Public Administration with Aaron Smith-Walter

This course serves as an introduction to public administration for graduate students. Although the field has its roots in ancient times, in the United States the field of Public Administration emerged out of an interest in developing more effective leaders and servants of democratic society. The course also emphasizes the integral role that administrators play in the public policy formation and implementation process. Traditionally, the policy process is typically outlined as a series of stages: problem definition, agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation, analysis and evaluation. In this course, students will critically assess this model against competing theories of public policy.

Public administration can be characterized as a field fascinated with dichotomies. From the classic politics/administration dichotomy, to the divide between democracy and bureaucracy, to the tension between allegiance to profession and obedience to hierarchy, conflict is fueled by a multiplicity of values, interests, and commitments. Knowing how to effectively communicate different viewpoints in this charged environment is a vital skill for administrators to hone.

Required Reading

Lipsky, Michael. 2010. Street Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services. Russel Sage Foundation, New York, NY.

 Sabatier, Paul A. and Weible, Christopher M. eds. 2017. Theories of the Policy Process, Fourth Edition. Westview Press.
(This title is also available through the UML Library as an e-book. See link below.)

Wilson, James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It.

Box, Richard C. 2018. Essential History for Public Administration. Melvin & Leigh.

Link to title above is to Internet Archive. Create an account to check out book. When not accessing the book, please RETURN IT, even if not finished, so it will be available for others. Then, when you return to it, it will be available for you.