PUBPOL 587-001

PUBPOL 587-001: Public Management: The Politics of Bureaucracy

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Winter 2008
Credit Hours

This section is designed to introduce many of the leading issues and challenges involved in public management and governance. It draws heavily from the discipline of political science and places major emphasis on bureaucratic politics. This will entail extensive examination of the behavior of bureaucrats and the institutions that they serve. The course will be divided into three broad units. First, we will examine the evolution of public management and introduce competing theories that explain why, in many contexts, public management is derided as highly dysfunctional. Second, we will consider the wide range of reform initiatives attempted in the United States and other nations under the broad umbrella of “new public management,” looking at a number of alternative approaches such as privatization, decentralization, and performance measurement. Finally, we will explore the extent to which public managers can chart new directions, prepare for the future, build policy networks, and even take lead roles in designing and implementing effective public policy. The majority of the case material draws from the multiple levels of government in the United States.