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UNDERSTANDING GOVERNMENT: FOUR INTELLECTUAL TRADITIONS IN THE STUDY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Authors

  • JOS C.N. RAADSCHELDERS

    1. Jos C.N. Raadschelders is Professor and Henry Bellmon Chair of Public Service, Political Science Department, University of Oklahoma.
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Abstract

In this article a conceptual map of the identity of the study of public administration is developed that encompasses its theoretical diversity and richness. It organizes public administration scholarship into four main intellectual traditions: practical wisdom, practical experience, scientific knowledge and relativist perspectives. The objective is to outline the study’s fundamental heterodoxy and interdisciplinarity. While the study clearly has strong national components everywhere, the four main intellectual traditions go across and beyond national traditions of government and of its study.

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