American Public Administration:Public Service for the 21st Century

Robert A. Cropf
November 2007
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This exciting new public administration text offers a broader context for public administration and a unique emphasis on cutting-edge topics as civil society, the growth of non-profits and privatization, the role of state governments, the new demands on public leadership, and ethics.


In addition to addressing the basics, American Public Administration: Public Service for the 21st Century stands out from other books in the discipline by offering a broader context in which to understand public administration and by devoting comprehensive coverage to current topics and trends, many of which are given chapter-length treatment. The most recent and compelling research is woven throughout every chapter to give students a useful, in-depth understanding of the field today. Real-world case studies and vignettes, helpful chapter pedagogy, an abundance of charts and graphs, and numerous Web listings help students learn and engage them in the text.


  • Innovative coverage presents cutting-edge topics that other books neglect: civil society, the impact of private firms and quasi-government agencies, state and local public administration, a more expansive definition of leadership, and nonprofits.
  • Includes detailed presentation of theoretical developments, such as postmodernism.
  • An abundance of real-world case studies and vignettes place the content in a contemporary context, making it concrete and showing its relevance to current society.
  • Several brief biographies are included to give students a more personal view of public administration and engage their interest. Examples include Frederick W. Taylor, Abraham Maslow, and an FBI whistleblower.
  • Helpful pedagogy is integrated throughout: an introduction to each chapter highlights the key points the chapter will cover to help direct student reading ("Setting the Stage" and "Chapter Plan"), while summaries and discussion questions at the end help reinforce key concepts and stimulate class discussion.
  • Key terms are highlighted and a glossary defining these terms appears at the end of each chapter.
  • A list of five to ten websites is provided in every chapter so students can explore chapter topics in greater detail on the Internet.

Table of Contents

Preface: American Public Policy Administration: Public Service for the 21st Century.

 1. Public Service in the 21st Century. 

 2. The Growth of Administration. 

 3. The Political Environment of Public Administration. 

4. Public Administration and Federalism.

5. Public Administration and Civil Society.  

6. Theories of Organization and Public Administration.

7. The Organizational Environment of Public Administration.

8. Managing Organizational Change.

9. Leadership in Public Administration.

10. The Policy Process.

11. Public Administration and Privatization.

12. Public Budgeting and Finance.

13. Human Resource Administration in Public Organizations.

14. Managing Information Systems and Policy in Public Organizations.

15. Ethics and Public Organizations.

Companion Website