: British Public Administration

Christopher Hood

in The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262948
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734762 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

: British Public Administration

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This chapter discusses three possible interpretations of the development of British Public Administration over the twentieth century as a way of assessing its contribution to political science. Those interpretations are respectively labelled ‘dodo’, ‘phoenix’, and ‘chameleon’. The ‘dodo’ interpretation is a pessimistic fin de siècle view of British Public Administration as in serious decline from early promise and former greatness. The ‘phoenix’ interpretation is a more optimistic perception of the subject as advancing in scientific rigour and conceptual sophistication over the century, leaving behind the outmoded styles of the past. A third view, the ‘chameleon’ interpretation, is a picture of lateral transformation, with the adoption of new intellectual colouring and markings to fit a new era.

Keywords: British Public Administration; political science; conceptual sophistication; lateral transformation; fin de siècle

Chapter.  10348 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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