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Administrative TraditionsUnderstanding the Roots of Contemporary Administrative Behavior$
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B. Guy Peters

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198297253.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

The Administrative Tradition Approach to Public Bureaucracy

The Administrative Tradition Approach to Public Bureaucracy

(p.23) 2 The Administrative Tradition Approach to Public Bureaucracy
Administrative Traditions

B. Guy Peters

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops the model of administrative traditions that functions as the framework for the remainder of the book. The argument is that contemporary public bureaucracies are influenced significantly by their historical roots, and that many features of contemporary bureaucracy can be understood through the historically rooted administrative traditions. The model of administrative traditions developed in this chapter has a number of components. First is the nature of the state in which public administration functions. Second is whether there is an emphasis on law or management in defining the role of public servants. The third dimension is the relationship between politics and public administration, followed by the service orientation of public servants. The fifth element of the model is the nature of the career patterns of public servants. Another political dimension concerns the role of social actors in influencing the bureaucracy. Administrative traditions also are concerned with the degree of uniformity in public services throughout the country. The final dimension of the model of administrative traditions is the degree and form of accountability. This model of administrative traditions is based on the experiences of Western Europe, but also has relevance in many other settings.

Keywords:   administrative traditions, state–society relationships, bureaucratic careers, bureaucrats and politicians, accountability, public management

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