The Private Government of Public Money: Community and Policy inside British Politics, Edition 2

Springer
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About the author

Aaron Wildavsky was, until his death in 1993, professor of political science and public policy at the University of California in Berkeley. He was also director of its Survey Research Center.

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Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Oct 1, 1981
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Pages
399
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ISBN
9781349166077
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Economy
Political Science / Public Affairs & Administration
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Hugh Heclo
How do political appointees try to gain control of the Washington bureaucracy? How do high-ranking career bureaucrats try to ensure administrative continuity? The answers are sought in this analysis of the relations between appointees and bureaucrats that uses the participants' own words to describe the imperatives they face and the strategies they adopt.

Shifting attention away form the well-publicized actions of the President, High Heclo reveals the little-known everyday problems of executive leadership faced by hundreds of appointees throughout the executive branch. But he also makes clear why bureaucrats must deal cautiously with political appointees and with a civil service system that offers few protections for broad-based careers of professional public service.

The author contends that even as political leadership has become increasingly bureaucratized, the bureaucracy has become more politicized. Political executives—usually ill-prepared to deal effectively with the bureaucracy—often fail to recognize that the real power of the bureaucracy is not its capacity for disobedience or sabotage but its power to withhold services. Statecraft for political executives consists of getting the changes they want without losing the bureaucratic services they need.

Heclo argues further that political executives, government careerists, and the public as well are poorly served by present arrangements for top-level government personnel. In his view, the deficiencies in executive politics will grow worse in the future. Thus he proposes changes that would institute more competent management of presidential appointments, reorganize the administration of the civil service personnel system, and create a new Federal Service of public managers.

Aaron Wildavsky
How to behave in the diaspora has been a central problem for Jews over the ages. They have debated whether to assimilate by adopting local customs or whether to remain a God-centered people loyal to their temporal rulers but maintaining the peculiar customs that separated them from their host nations. The question not only of survival, but of the basis for survival, is also a central problem in the Joseph stories of the Book of Genesis. The work shows its readers the grand alternatives of Judaism, instilled in two larger-than-life figures, so its readers can reassess for themselves the road Judaism did not take, and understand why Joseph though admirable in many respects, is left out of the rest of the Bible.

The question is answered through the stories about how Joseph, the son of Jacob, saved his people/family from famine by becoming a high-ranking administrator to Pharaoh. By analyzing his behavior to the people over whom he exercises power, Joseph lords it over his brothers, grieves his father, takes lands from Egyptian farmers, and engages in forced deportation. Wildavsky explains why Joseph-the-assimilator is replaced in the Book of Exodus by Moses-the-lawgiver. The book ends by demonstrating that Joseph and Moses are, and are undoubtedly meant to be exact opposites.

As in his earlier book on The Nursing Father: Moses as a Political Leader, Wildavsky combines analysis of political and administrative leadership with both traditional and modern study of texts: thematic linkages via plot, grammar, dreams, poetry, and religious doctrine. Thus the chapter on "Joseph the Administrator" is preceded by a chapter on Joseph as The Dream Lord" and followed by an analysis and explanation of why Jacob's obscure blessings to his sons are more like curses. Always the emphasis is on the reciprocal influence of religion and politics, on rival answers to questions about how Hebrews should relate to each other and to outsiders. New, in paperback, the book will be of interest to biblical scholars and readers as well as those concerned with the interaction of religion and political life.

Aaron Wildavsky
The author of this stunning set of essays on politics and public policy makes crystal clear the meaning of the title. "The revolutionaries of contemporary America do not seek to redistribute privilege from those who have it to those who do not. These radicals wish to arrange a transfer of power from those elites who now exercise it to another elite, namely themselves, who do not. This aspiring elite is of the same race (white), the same class (upper middle and upper), and the same educational background (the best colleges and universities) as those they wish to displace."

Wildavsky's bracing work takes a close look at these elites, who probably make up little more than one percent of the population. He sees their common denominator as hostility toward the masses, anti-American attitudes, derision of authority, and a belief in participatory rather than representative politics. The author carries through these themes in a variety of essays on black-white racial relations, social work orientations and black militancy, the politics of budgetary reform, elite and mass trends in the political party system, and the substitution of bureaucratic for democratic modes of advancing the policy process. This work is, in short, vintage Wildavsky: tough minded, spirited, and plain-spoken political analysis.

In his new Introduction, Irving Louis Horowitz examines what has changed and what continues to be salient in Wildavsky's line of analysis. Essentially, the report card on The Revolt Against the Masses is that the situation described in these essays has changed somewhat in style but hardly at all in substance. The nuclear shield replaces the ABM treaty, and Afghanistan replaces Vietnam as centers of political gravity-but the same coalition of forces across party and economy still dominate the American political process. The justifiably famous essay on "The Two Presidencies" shows how persistent is the gap between the conflict over domestic priorities and the consensus on foreign policy-and why. This is, in short, a classic text that continues to merit careful study by all those interested in political life.

Aaron Wildavsky was, until his death in 1993, professor of political science and public policy at the University of California in Berkeley. He was also director of its Survey Research Center. He served as director of the Russell-Sage Foundation, was a president of the American Political Science Association, and held a number of visiting professorships during his lifetime. Most recently, Transaction has posthumously published Wildavsky's complete essays and papers in five volumes.

Irving Louis Horowitz is Hannah Arendt distinguished university professor emeritus at Rutgers, The State University, and longtime friend and associate of Aaron Wildavsky.
Aaron Wildavsky
Since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson between 1963 and 1968, there is much reason to believe that the executive office is in trouble. For the past twenty-five years, presidents have been subject to continuing criticism, with dissatisfaction rising, approval rates falling, and demands becoming impossible to meet. Is it that Americans have become an unlucky people whose noble virtues have been undermined by the unfortunate fact that they keep nominating and electing bad presidents? Or is there a systemic reason for a beleaguered presidency in the rise of an egalitarian culture, amplified through the media which is opposed to authority? This book confronts these questions and inquires into their consequences for presidential behavior.

In Wildavsky's view, the growth of political discord since the sixties-opposing views on policy matters and social issues ranged along egalitarian versus hierarchical lines-has created a demarcation between a past presidency in which national leaders had a chance to do well and present and future presidents seeking to adapt to their slim chances of leaving office with their reputations intact.

Wildavsky demonstrates how various recent presidents have attempted to escape or overcome their beleaguered status by such devices as focusing on only a few issues or shedding responsibility (or blame) to other actors, or treating policy problems as if they were essentially administrative in nature. The book analyzes the wide divergence on public policy among Democratic and Republican activists and assesses the efforts of presidents from Nixon through Bush to cope, at times successfully, often not, with these divisions.

The final chapters contrast the ideological presidency of Ronald Reagan with the procedural presidency of George Bush. Both are considered in the context of a governmental system that requires leadership but does not often support it. The final chapter is the first effort to make sense out of George Bush's relative lack of interest in policy and very great interest in procedures for unravelling the puzzles of his presidency. Few books answer the questions raised here or manifest such a wide-ranging cultural approach to the modern presidency. "The Beleaguered Presidency "will be of interest to political scientists, historians, political sociologists, and public sector policymakers.

Aaron Wildavsky
Of all the questions that might be asked about political life, it would be difficult to find one of greater interest than the ancient query: who rules over whom? It appeals powerfully to our curiosity. We want to know who ""runs"" things--who makes policy decisions in New York, Washington, London, or the town in which we live. Is it a single powerful individual, an economic elite, a series of elites, the citizens, political bosses, or some variant of these possibilities?The major purpose of this volume is to find an answer to this question for a small American city, and to extend the answer through relevant theory to American cities in general. But much more precisely, answers are sought for these interrelated questions: What are the relationships between the rulers and the ruled? How are the rulers related to each other? Are the rulers the same for all policies or do they differ from one area of policy to another? How do leaders arise, and in what way are they different from other people?The issues discussed in this volume are familiar to many towns. They range from controversies about the building of a new water system to housing and zoning codes, from charity appeals to low-income housing, from nominations and elections to industrial development and off-street parking. Wildavsky draws parallels to other community studies and formulates general propositions in support of his thesis that American communities are pluralist. And ultimately, Wildavsky is optimistic that small towns foster citizen participation, giving the population more of a chance to direct its own future.Aaron Wildavsky was, until his death in 1993, professor of political science and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and, while working on the present study, taught at Oberlin College. Transaction has posthumously published Wildavsky's complete essays and papers in five volumes.Nelson W. Polsby is Heller Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, wh
Aaron Wildavsky
Since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson between 1963 and 1968, there is much reason to believe that the executive office is in trouble. For the past twenty-five years, presidents have been subject to continuing criticism, with dissatisfaction rising, approval rates falling, and demands becoming impossible to meet. Is it that Americans have become an unlucky people whose noble virtues have been undermined by the unfortunate fact that they keep nominating and electing bad presidents? Or is there a systemic reason for a beleaguered presidency in the rise of an egalitarian culture, amplified through the media which is opposed to authority? This book confronts these questions and inquires into their consequences for presidential behavior.In Wildavsky's view, the growth of political discord since the sixties-opposing views on policy matters and social issues ranged along egalitarian versus hierarchical lines-has created a demarcation between a past presidency in which national leaders had a chance to do well and present and future presidents seeking to adapt to their slim chances of leaving office with their reputations intact.Wildavsky demonstrates how various recent presidents have attempted to escape or overcome their beleaguered status by such devices as focusing on only a few issues or shedding responsibility (or blame) to other actors, or treating policy problems as if they were essentially administrative in nature. The book analyzes the wide divergence on public policy among Democratic and Republican activists and assesses the efforts of presidents from Nixon through Bush to cope, at times successfully, often not, with these divisions.The final chapters contrast the ideological presidency of Ronald Reagan with the procedural presidency of George Bush. Both are considered in the context of a governmental system that requires leadership but does not often support it. The final chapter is the first effort to make sense out of George Bush's relative lack of interest in
Aaron Wildavsky
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