Exorcising Our Demons: Comments on a New Direction for Public Administration Theory
Keywords:Bureau of Municipal Research, Discipline, Profession, Public Administration Theory
AbstractThe field of public administration has grown accustomed to the presence of an identity crisis. In his opus, Dubnick (2018) addresses the existence of this crisis, noting where we are as a field and highlighting some of the debate that got us there. In response to Dubnick, I argue that our position as a profession rather than a discipline relates to the failure of the field to pay attention to our history. Giving consideration to our history, we find that public administration as a discipline contains those who study public administration, and a profession or practice of those who are public administrators. As a field, the conversation should move beyond the study or the practice and accept the duality that is a sign a mature subject area.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional, contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see, The Effect of Open Access).