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Bureaucracy and Self-Government

Bureaucracy and Self-Government

Reconsidering the Role of Public Administration in American Politics
second edition

In this new edition of his provocative book Bureaucracy and Self-Government, Brian J. Cook reconsiders his thesis regarding the inescapable tension between the ideal of self-government and the reality of administratively centered governance. Revisiting his historical exploration of competing conceptions of politics, government, and public administration, Cook offers a novel way of thinking constitutionally about public administration that transcends debates about "big government."

Cook enriches his historical analysis with new scholarship and extends that analysis to the present, taking account of significant developments since the mid-1990s. Each chapter has been updated, and two new chapters sharpen Cook’s argument for recognizing a constitutive dimension in normative theorizing about public administration. The second edition also includes reviews of Jeffersonian impacts on administrative theory and practice and Jacksonian developments in national administrative structures and functions, a look at the administrative theorizing that presaged progressive reforms in civil service, and insight into the confounding complexities that characterize public thinking about administration in a postmodern political order.