Administrative Presidency Revisited, The: Public Lands, the BLM, and the Reagan Revolution

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About the author

Robert F. Durant is Professor of Government and Public Administration at the William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy, University of Baltimore.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
401
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ISBN
9781438401669
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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By the Cold War's end, U.S. military bases harbored nearly 20,000 toxic waste sites. All told, cleaning the approximately 27 million acres is projected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. And yet while progress has been made, efforts to integrate environmental and national security concerns into the military's operations have proven a daunting and intrigue-filled task that has fallen short of professed goals in the post-Cold War era.

In The Greening of the U.S. Military, Robert F. Durant delves into this too-little understood world of defense environmental policy to uncover the epic and ongoing struggle to build an environmentally sensitive culture within the post-Cold War military. Through over 100 interviews and thousands of pages of documents, reports, and trade newsletter accounts, he offers a telling tale of political, bureaucratic, and intergovernmental combat over the pace, scope, and methods of applying environmental and natural resource laws while ensuring military readiness. He then discerns from these clashes over principle, competing values, and narrow self-interest a theoretical framework for studying and understanding organizational change in public organizations. From Dick Cheney's days as Defense Secretary under President George H. W. Bush to William Cohen's Clinton-era-tenure and on to Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon, the battle over "greening" the military has been one with high-stakes consequences for both national defense and public health, safety, and the environment. Durant's polity-centered perspective and arguments will evoke needed scrutiny, debate, and dialogue over these issues in environmental, military, policymaking, and academic circles.

'A nation without a national government is an awful spectacle.' In the winter of 1787-8 a series of eighty-five essays appeared in the New York press; the purpose of the essays was to persuade the citizens of New York State to ratify the Constitution of the United States. The three authors - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay - were respectively the first Secretary of the Treasury, the fourth President, and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in American history. Each had played a crucial role in the events of the American Revolution; together they were convinced of the need to weld thirteen disparate and newly-independent states into a union. Their essays make the case for a new and united nation, governed under a written Constitution that endures to this day. The Federalist Papers are an indispensable guide to the intentions of the founding fathers who created the United States, and a canonical text in the development of western political thought. This new edition pays full attention to the classical learning of their authors and the historical examples they deploy. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Contemporary public administration research has marginalized the importance of “taking history seriously.” With few exceptions, little recent scholarship in the field has looked longitudinally (rather than cross-sectionally), contextually, and theoretically over extended time periods at “big questions” in public administration. One such “big question” involves the evolution of American administrative reform and its link since the nation’s founding to American state building. This book addresses this gap by analyzing administrative reform in unprecedented empirical and theoretical ways. In taking a multidisciplinary approach, it incorporates recent developments in cognate research fields in the humanities and social sciences that have been mostly ignored in public administration. It thus challenges existing notions of the nature, scope, and power of the American state and, with these, important aspects of today’s conventional wisdom in public administration.

Author Robert F. Durant explores the administrative state in a new light as part of a “compensatory state”—driven, shaped, and amplified since the nation’s founding by a corporate–social science nexus of interests. Arguing that this nexus of interests has contributed to citizen estrangement in the United States, he offers a broad empirical and theoretical understanding of the political economy of administrative reform, its role in state building, and its often paradoxical results. Offering a reconsideration of conventional wisdom in public administration, this book is required reading for all students, scholars, or practitioners of public administration, public policy, and politics.

Dialog between practitioners and academics has increasingly become the exception rather than the rule in contemporary public administration circles. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities tackles some of the major management challenges, choices, and opportunities of the twenty-first century facing public managers across various subfields of public administration.

Informed by contemporary pressures on public managers to reconceptualize purpose, redefine administrative rationality, recapitalize human assets, reengage resources, and revitalize democratic constitutionalism, the book offers students, practitioners, and researchers an opportunity to take stock and ponder the future of practice and research in public administration. Organized by three sets of major management challenges facing the field—Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic, Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity, and Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges—the book takes an uncommon approach to the study of these topics. In it, leading practitioners and academics comment on condensed versions of articles appearing in the Theory to Practice feature of Public Administration Review (PAR) from 2006 through 2011.

The authors and commentators focus on some of the best current research, draw lessons from that literature for practice, and identify gaps in research that need to be addressed. They expertly draw out themes, issues, problems, and prospects, providing bulleted lessons and practical takeaways. This makes the book a unique one-stop resource for cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, and cross-professional exchanges on contemporary challenges.

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