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Public Administration

Preface to Public Administration, Third Edition                   
Its Study, Scope, and Substance
Richard J. Stillman II

Preface to Public Administration is a brief introduction to the underlying theories and concepts of PA—a necessary complement to the “nuts and bolts” approach favored by traditional textbooks. Concise, inexpensive, and beautifully written, it tackles crucial issues facing public administration, including:

          n       What is public administration

          n       How did it originate as a distinctive study and a unique set of institutions?

          n       What is the relationship between its ideas and its institutions?

          n       What are its basic doctrines?

          n       Is it a discipline, a profession, or what?

From the author’s Preface: “This book is not written for specialized academic theorists. Instead, it seeks to be an introduction to introductory texts—hence, the “preface” in its title—for students new to the field who may wish to gain a better insight into their future occupation before they embark on careers in public administration."

Praise for Preface to Public Administration


“A superbly crafted book that lends itself to courses that inquire into the foundations of public administration in the United States. Stillman has taken great pains to keep the quality of writing at a clear, direct level.” (James Stever, University of Cincinnati)


“This is an excellent book. It should be used widely in public administration courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It fills the need for a comprehensive, readable, and interesting intellectual history that can be adopted for class use.” (David Rosenbloom, The American University)



About the Author


Richard J. Stillman II is professor at the School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado, Denver. His research interests include the nature of the study of public administration and the development of American public administration. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and served as editor in chief of Public Administration Review (2006–2011).


Essential History for Public Administration
Richard C. Box

Essential History for Public Administration offers public affairs faculty and students a concise introduction to crucial elements of American history, creating a foundation for stronger discussion of current conditions in governance and management. It is designed as a brief supplemental text for use in public affairs courses rather than as a replacement for core assigned readings. The premise of the book is that enhanced knowledge of the history of the public sector can help students of public affairs design and manage successful programs.


Praise for Essential History for Public Administration


“Richard Box’s new book, Essential History for Public Administration, is the most exciting development I have seen in readings for public administration students in some time! It is a compelling and accessible read, perfect for busy in-service students, pre-service, and those within all stages of the Digital Age.

The book is organized brilliantly, weaving common themes through four eras of change, from the Founding Era to the present time. This narrative format is pedagogically sound, allowing the reader to grasp the relevance to our twenty-first-century realities, as well as to understand that some of the issues wrestled within the Founding Era are reflected in today’s discourse. 

Many of us bemoan the lack of U.S. history and civic education in our country. Box’s book successfully addresses that situation, providing much needed historical context in an engaging fashion. I expect this book to enjoy wide appeal to PA faculty in a variety of PA courses, at the baccalaureate level as well as the advanced degree level.”

—Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Park University



“Since the founding, Americans have been wary about government and unelected bureaucrats. This book provides a nuanced understanding of the role and position of government in American society, showing how much people actually benefited from public services. It shows how issues about balancing the public and private sectors, the size and cost of government, the distribution of economic and political power, and of migration have played out from Independence up to the present day. This well-written and accessible book will make good reading for students, citizens, and those who work in the public sector.”

—Jos C.N. Raadschelders, The Ohio State University



Essential History for Public Administration is an insightful text about the founding of public administration management. Contextualized across four time periods (the Founding Era, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society), each discussion provides the reader with the social and political context necessary to understand the evolution of the field. Common themes (public versus private interests, concentrated wealth and power, the size and cost of government, and insiders and outsiders) are threaded throughout the book to demonstrate how these concepts have transformed over time. Richard Box has written an informative, concise, and approachable text that can be used by any person interested in public administration.”

—Brandi Blessett, Rutgers University–Camden

Public Budgeting in America, Sixth Edition              
Thomas D. Lynch, Jinping Sun, Robert W. Smith
ISBN: 978-0-99730844-0
list price : $129.95

The Sixth Edition of Public Budgeting in America explains budgetary theory and practice, with a linkage to financial management, at all levels of government in the U.S. It is designed as a primary text for students in public administration and policy, and also serves as an invaluable reference for scholars, practitioners and other readers interested in public budgeting and financial management.

Each chapter begins with a budgeting scenario and an introduction of major topics, followed by detailed discussion of each topic, and concludes with a revisit of the opening scenario, a list of review questions, additional case exercises, and references, all of which are integral to the book. Readers are encouraged to apply what they learn in each chapter, analyze the cases, answer the review questions, and expand their research based on the references provided at the end of each chapter.

New to This Edition

In response to recent budgetary developments, the Sixth Edition has been extensively revised, with all-new coverage on:

  • n       changes in monetary and fiscal policies in the twenty-first century (Chapter 2);

  • n       recent performance management initiatives (Chapter 3);

  • n       federal budget deficits and policy changes under the Bush and Obama administrations (Chapter 3);

  • n       government revenue and expenditure forecasting (Chapter 5);

  • n       Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (Chapter 7) -- completely rewritten in accordance with GASB changes;

  • n       Social Impact Bonds, a new type of debt instrument with an unusual approach to paying off bonds (Chapter 8);

  • n       challenges faced by government in funding public employee pensions (Chapter 10).

Praise for Public Budgeting in America

“A thorough knowledge of budgeting is a sure path to advancement in the public and non-profit sectors. Lynch, Sun, and Smith provide students with an excellent foundation. Public Budgeting in America is easy to understand and provides useful real-world exercises.” (James Douglas, University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Public Budgeting in America provides an excellent introduction to the practice of budgeting.” (Daniel Williams, Baruch College, CUNY)

“This is a classic -- maybe the classic book on US budgeting. If I had to pick one book to give to a person wanting to know how budgeting works, it would be this one. Not only does it give practical guidance, it gives a rich context so the reader will really understand our system.”  (John R. Bartle (Dean, College of Public Affairs and Community Service, University of Nebraska Omaha)

Foundations of Public Administration                                                                       
Edited by Jos C.N. Raadschelders and Richard J. Stillman II
ISBN #: 978-099730842-6
list price: $59.95

What do the leading scholars in the field of public administration have to say about the most important areas in the field?

Foundations of Public Administration answers this question by providing academics and students with a rich supply of knowledge on the scope, methods, and theoretical foundations of the field. The result is a definitive, comprehensive framework for the study of public administration that no student or scholar should be without.

Praise for Foundations of Public Administration

“An assemblage of authoritative discussions of major topics in public administration, by an impressive cast of accomplished experts. Scholars and students who want to be well-informed about the field will need to read this book.” (Hal G. Rainey, Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia)

“For those of us in the business of fostering the next generation of PA scholars and teachers, this volume brings together insightful material by an outstanding group of authors who know and appreciate what it means to understand and advance the ‘study’ of public administration. It is a much needed and welcome addition to the field. )Melvin J. Dubnick, Professor of Political Science, University of New Hampshire)

“This book provides an excellent comprehensive overview of the foundations of U.S. Public Administration, written by many of the top experts in the field. Scholars, graduate students, undergraduates, and practitioners alike will benefit from the up-to-date analyses as well as the insightful research questions." (Rosemary O'Leary, Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Kansas)

Table of Contents



Foreword, Norma M. Riccucc

1.      Jos C.N. Raadschelders, Richard J. Stillman: Introduction: The Future of the Study of Public Administratio

Part I: Foundations of the Study

2.      Mark R. Rutgers: Theory and Scope of Public Administration

3.      Jos C.N. Raadschelders: Administrative History as Core Element in the Study of Public Administration

4.      James W. Björkman: Comparative Public Administration

5.      Patricia Shields, Travis Whetsell: Public Administration Methodology: A Pragmatic Perspective

Part II: Foundations of Government

6.      David Rosenbloom, Helena Rene: Administrative Law

7.      Laurence E. Lynn: Governance

8.      Charles Wise: American Federalism, Intergovernmental Relations and Intergovernmental Management

Part III:  Structuring Government Activities: Staff Functions

9.      Robert Denhardt, Margaretha Warnicke, Ljubinka Andonoska: An Overview of Organization Theory and Behavior

10.  Aidan Vining, David Weimer: Policy Analysis: A Valuable Skill for Public Administrators

11.  Patricia Ingraham, Nadia Rubaii-Barrett: Human Resource Management

12.  Kurt Thurmaier, David Mitchell: Currents and Undercurrents in Budgeting Theory

Part IV: Functioning of Government: Line Functions

13.  James Garnett, Amanda Olejarski: Public Administrative Communication

14.  Robert Agranoff, Michael McGuire, Chris Silvia: Collaborative Management

15.  Roger Lohmann: Non-profit Management

16.  James Pfiffner, Mary Boardman: Managing the Federal Executive Branch

Part V: Public Work Force Challenges

17.  Mary Ellen Guy, Samantha Larson: Gender and Diversity

18.  Montgomery van Wart: Leadership: Theoretical and Pedagogical Challenges

19.  Sanjay Pandey, Rachel Breslin, Sheela Pandey, and Erica Broadus: Public Service Motivation Research Program: Key Challenges and Future Prospects

20.  Louis C. Gawthrop, Richard J. Stillman: Ethics in the Public Service




“I wish every elected official and career manager would read this wonderful book. There is no ‘same old’ to be found here. The author’s prescriptions would reshape and revitalize the institutions of government" (Bruce A. McPherson, former Secretary of State, Senator, and Assemblymember, State of California)

Rethinking Public Administration

The Case for Management

Second Edition

Richard Clay Wilson, Jr.


ISBN-13: 978-09786638-4-1

List Price: $29.95


When we think about government, our thoughts are almost invariably about politics. Politicians deserve the attention they get, serving as they do at the top of federal, state, and local government. But there is a downside to focusing on politics, which is that we pay little attention to the management of our public institutions.


Author Richard Clay Wilson, Jr., a former city manager, argues that the career managers who actually operate the entities of government have the capacity to significantly upgrade governmental performance, Before that can happen, though, we musty rethink the roles of elected officials and career managers. This book points the way.


Praise for Rethinking Public Administration

“The reaction of my MPA students (mostly in-service professionals) to Wilson’s book was immediate and positive. They found it more than readable — it was insightful and right in tune with their experience. Rethinking Public Administration had a greater impact on the course than all the other readings I assigned.”

Melvin J. Dubnick

Professor of Political Science, University of New Hampshire

Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration

“Wilson’s provocative book provides the best description I've seen of the respective roles of elected officials and administrators—a topic I believe is understated if discussed at all in PA courses.  His discussion of the political context of public organizations provides instructors with content that is not readily available in other sources—content that is critical to preparing students for the ‘real world’ situations they will be working in.”

Mary R. Hamilton

Senior Executive in Residence, University of Nebraska Omaha School of Public Administration

Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration

“Written by a city manager with 35 years of experience in local government, this book will resonate with career civil servants’ experiences and provides a practitioner perspective to aspiring civil servants. Its core message as that management in the public sector is much more challenging than in the private sector comes across loud and clear. The author’s perspective on what management is, and what it could be, is refreshing and does not stoop to simply saying that government should adopt business-like principles and practices. That it is written in a clear and accessible style, without academic jargon, makes it an attractive addition to reading lists in executive and in-career programs for practitioners as well as for full-time students in MPA programs.”


Jos C.N. Raadschelders

Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development

John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University


About the Author

Richard Clay Wilson, Jr. earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1968, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Kansas in 1976. He was a local government professional for 38 years, including 29 as a city manager. He is the author of numerous columns for the PATimes on-line magazine and Governing’s on-line magazine. He is dedicated to the proposition that government is short of management.




1. Political Territory

2. Managerial Territory

3. Economic Territory

4. Conclusion

About the Author


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