A book review.

 

The authors emphasize the necessity for running the government like a democracy and not a business, and opine that elected and appointed public servants worldwide are working on this principle. Their renewed commitment to public interest has helped them find enhanced value for their service and earn more dignity and respect for themselves.

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They have also realized how much they can accomplish by “listening to” and not “telling” the public and by “serving” and not “steering” the public. As a result, the public servants have inspired the public so much so that common problems are being addressed and resolved by the common public as well as the public servants through mutual cooperation. The authors call this new attitude and new involvement in public administration along with the renewed commitment towards public interest as the new revolution called the New Public Service. The book stresses the importance of societal value in the work of public servants, wherein lies the soul of public administration. Public servants are responsible for improving public health, maintaining pubic safety, enhancing environmental quality, etc. which ultimately amounts to enhancing and maintaining good, quality life for all.

The traditional approach to public administration is referred to in this book as the Old Public Administration. The authors throw light on several approaches to the Old Public Administration. Woodrow Wilson’s approach to public administration was followed for more than half a century in America. This approach differentiated between politics and administration, which associated accountability to elected leaders and assured efficiency of the administrators. This also necessitated creating structures and strategies. In this context, the authors point out the difficulty in distinguishing between politics and administration in all settings.

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