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Review Essay: Rohr, Frederickson and Wolin on the \"Big Questions\" and the Future of Public Administration

PAM, Vol. 4 No. 4, (1999)

This article reviews the writing of three major public administration
scholars to develop insights into these big questions regarding the
democratic polity, the instruments of collective action, and societal
learning. The three author’s—Frederickson, Rohr and Wolin—offer
contrasting viewpoints in addressing the big questions for reconciling
public administrations past and future.
Primary attention is focused here on the important
questions for public administration in a democracy,
particularly the United States. Four criteria the big
questions of public administration in a democracy must
satisfy are: (a) achieving a democratic polity; (b) rising to
the societal level, even in terms of values, also important at
the level of individual public organizations; (c) confronting
the complexity of instruments of collective action; and (d)
encouraging more effective societal learning.

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