Public Management, Democracy, and Politics

Linda Deleon

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Management

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226443
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Public Management, Democracy, and Politics

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  • Business Ethics


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Contemporary public management includes initiatives that pursue reforms. Reforms centered on producing more and better public services include those that aim to tighten and streamline the management of public bureaucracies, those that increase competition in order to offer citizens more choices, and those that center on increasing citizen participation in political and administrative processes. Other reforms attempt to empower workers in the hope of making them more creative and productive. Superficially, it may seem paradoxical that each vision of how to improve public management claims that it preserves and enhances democracy and improves governmental effectiveness. This article discusses three very different answers to the question of how public management can be both effective and democratic. Next, the research literature on several mechanisms for making public management more democratic is reviewed. And finally, a separate discussion briefly treats the question of how to make the internal workings of public organizations more democratic.

Keywords: public management; public services; reforms; citizen participation; political process; administrative process

Article.  11609 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Public Management and Administration ; Business Ethics

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