Administrative and Politics Dichotomy

7 July 2016

Abstract For many years, the political-administrative dichotomy has been one of the most disputed theories of public administration. Despite serious debates and critiques, the differences between politics and public administration have been present over the past decades. The question still remains today whether or not politics and public administration can work together for one common good-to serve the people for which they govern. Today, politics and administration are linked in many ways.

A few examples are: administrators initiate policy, administrative acts have political consequences, and administrators shape policy after the fact and civil servants are not politically neutral. Skelley, B. D. (2008) Another aspect of the administrative-political divide is the philosophical ideals in the western culture of the Greek civic-culture (political) and the Roman imperial (administrative) tradition. Demir, T. & Nyhan, R. (2008) The political-administrative relationship has been an important question for over a century now.

Administrative and Politics Dichotomy Essay Example

Skelley, B. D. (2008) Woodrow Wilson, in his article “The Study of Administration” (1887), wrote of how to position public administration in relation to politics. His idea is the forefront to which the idea that public administration is somehow distinct from politics. Public administration is supposed to be the instrument used or the delivery vehicle for translating policies into action, while politics is about making the policies. Demir, T. & Nyhan, R.

(2008) The dichotomy is still influencing public administration due to numerous public administrators are claiming neutrality from political influences. Neutrality refers to the ability to do government work, do it to the standard that has been set, rather than to one’s own standard or for other loyalties or personal gain. Skelley, B. D. (2008) Research and political models have suggested that public administration and politics should “stay in their lane” or be kept in each one’s proper sphere. Demir, T. & Nyhan, R. (2008) Conclusion

The administrative-political dichotomy, has over the years, been promoted by numerous public administrators and elected officials. Many of these public administrators and local government managers believe that a professional public administration that is less visible or far removed from political influence will perform better.

References Skelley, B. D. (2008) The Persistence of the Politics-Administration Dichotomy: An Additional Explanation. Demir, T. & Nyhan, R. (2008) The Politics-Administration Dichotomy: An Empirical Search for Correspondence Between Theory and Practice.

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