Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Resh on the Administrative Presidency and the Degradation of the Civil Service

William G. Resh, University of Southern California Sl Price School of Public Policy, has posted The Administrative Presidency and the Degradation of the United States Civil Service through Political Time, which is forthcoming in the Handbook of Public Administration (Routledge):
The study of the administrative presidency is one that more obviously, though not uniquely, overlaps the research interests of both self-identifying public management and political science scholars. How a president’s managerial strategies are applied has profound implications on how one thinks about the role of federal public administrators in the United States’ polity and constitutional design. However, those strategies are not merely a function of the preferences and agency of a given president or presidential administration. Time presents a critical, if overlooked, macro-level embeddedness attribute in which individual decisions and behavior are nested. The timing in which a president operates within a political epoch and his ideological positioning vis-à-vis the dominant ideology within that epoch will have a vast influence on the alternative sets that are allowed for that president, his proxies, and career bureaucrats to consider. In this essay, I seek to bridge this macro-perspective of public administration with the micro-level foundations of behavioralism by providing an example of how these secular, historical trends can produce observable and predictable patterns by which we can assess variation of executive and bureaucratic behaviors across temporal contexts.
–Dan Ernst