Seeing the Forest for the Trees: An Atlas of the Politics–Administration Dichotomy



Recent years have seen attempts to make sense of the politics–administration dichotomy. Triangulating among historical research, empirical observations, new models of interaction between politicians and administrators, and the division of the literature into “schools,” novel ways of understanding and examining the dichotomy have developed. These have been largely thematic and have revealed the extent of a literature spanning more than 120 years. Because of its size, a complementary structural analysis of the literature now not only is conceivably useful but also can offer means for approaching it. This article offers an atlas—that is, a series of visual maps, accompanied by associated statistics and interpretations—that can assist researchers in their travels through the territory of the dichotomy. Ten ways of tackling the literature are presented, culminating in an initial reading list that covers the breadth of dichotomy research, thus providing an epistemological foundation for those who wish to enter the territory.