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Proposals for reform have dotted the federal management landscape in the United States for more than 50 years. Yet these efforts by public management professionals have frequently failed to produce lasting results. In her new book, Federal Management Reform in a World of Contradictions, renowned public administration scholar Beryl A. Radin reveals what may lie behind the failure of so many efforts at government management reform.
To spur new thinking about this problem, Radin examines three basic sets of contradictions between the strategies of the reformers and the reality of the US federal system: contradictions in the shared powers structure, contradictions in values, and contradictions between politics and administration. She then explores six types of reform efforts and the core beliefs that guided them. The six reform areas are contracting out, personnel policy, agency reorganization, budgeting, federalism policies and procedures, and performance management. The book shows how too often these prescriptions for reform have tried to apply techniques from the private sector or a parliamentary system that do not transfer well to the structure of the US federal system and its democratic and political traditions.
Mindful of the ineffectiveness of a "one-size-fits--all" approach, Radin does not propose a single path for reform, but calls instead for a truly honest assessment of past efforts as today's reformers design a new conceptual and strategic roadmap for the future.
Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic
Does religion promote political mobilization? Are individuals motivated by their faith to focus on issues of social justice, personal morality, or both? What is the relationship between religious conviction and partisanship? Does religious identity reinforce or undermine other political identifications like race, ethnicity, and class? The answers to these questions are hardly monolithic, varying between and within major American religious groups. With an electoral climate increasingly shaped by issues of faith, values, and competing moral visions, it is both fascinating and essential to examine the religious and political currents within America's major religious traditions. J. Matthew Wilson and a group of prominent religion and politics scholars examine these topics and assess one question central to these issues: How does faith shape political action in America's diverse religious communities? From Pews to Polling Places seeks to cover a rich mosaic of religious and ethnic perspectives with considerable breadth by examining evangelical Christians, the religious left, Catholics, Mormons, African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims. Along with these groups, the book takes a unique look at the role of secular and antifundamentalist positions, adding an even wider outlook to these critical concerns. The contributors demonstrate how different theologies, histories, and social situations drive distinct conceptualizations of the relationship between religious and political life. At the same time, however, the book points to important commonalities across traditions that can inform our discussions on the impact of religion on political life. In emphasizing these similarities, the authors explore the challenges of political mobilization, partisanship, and the intersections of religion and ethnicity.
Sustainability, Social Justice, and Religious Creativity
The Future of Ethics interprets the big questions of sustainability and social justice through the practical problems arising from humanity's increasing power over basic systems of life. What does climate change mean for our obligations to future generations? How can the sciences work with pluralist cultures in ways that will help societies learn from ecological change?
Traditional religious ethics examines texts and traditions and highlights principles and virtuous behaviors that can apply to particular issues. Willis Jenkins develops lines of practical inquiry through "prophetic pragmatism," an approach to ethics that begins with concrete problems and adapts to changing circumstances. This brand of pragmatism takes its cues from liberationist theology, with its emphasis on how individuals and communities actually cope with overwhelming problems.
Can religious communities make a difference when dealing with these issues? By integrating environmental sciences and theological ethics into problem-based engagements with philosophy, economics, and other disciplines, Jenkins illustrates the wide understanding and moral creativity needed to live well in the new conditions of human power. He shows the significance of religious thought to the development of interdisciplinary responses to sustainability issues and how this calls for a new style of religious ethics.
The Minnowbrook Perspective
A once-in-a-generation event held every twenty years, the Minnowbrook conference brings together the top scholars in public administration and public management to reflect on the state of the field and its future. This unique volume brings together a g
Policy Choices in the American States
In the American federal system, states actively compete for jobs, business investment, and factory locations. Labor costs have played an important role in such interstate competition since the days of the pre-Civil War plantation economy. In recent years, however, global economic trends have put added pressures on businesses and government to reduce labor costs. At least, that is what most politicians, the media, and the business community believe. Globalization and the Politics of Pay examines the economic, political, and social causes and consequences of declining wages in the United States. It challenges the conventional wisdom that globalization is to blame for the decline in workers' earnings. Susan B. Hansen presents a comprehensive analysis of the many factors affecting labor costs and concludes that many of them result from choices made by the states themselves through the laws and policies they enact. In addition, free-market ideologies and low voter turnout have had greater effects in keeping wages down than globalization. In fact, foreign trade and investment can actually result in higher pay in the state labor market. In this rigorous yet surprising study, Hansen develops new measures of state and federal labor costs to test competing theories of the consequences of reducing wages and benefits. Most economists would argue that higher labor costs cause higher unemployment, and that reducing labor costs will lead to higher levels of job creation. But citizens and elected officials must weigh any employment gains in lower-wage jobs against slower state economic growth, declining personal income, and a less-competitive position in international trade. Cutting state labor costs is shown to have adverse social consequences, including family instability, high crime rates, poverty, and low voter turnouts. The book concludes with policy recommendations for state governments trying to balance their need for more jobs with policies to enhance productivity, living standards, social stability, and international competitiveness.
Practical Philosophy for Public Service
With the rush of calamitous events in recent yearsùthe September 11 terror attacks, the Iraq imbroglio, and hurricanes Katrina and RitaùAmericans feel themselves to be living in dark times. Trust in one another and in the government is at low ebb. People
Environmental Policy, National Security, and Organizational Change
By the Cold War's end, U.S. military bases harbored nearly 20,000 toxic waste sites. All told, cleaning the approximately 27 million acres is projected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. And yet while progress has been made, efforts to integrate environmental and national security concerns into the military's operations have proven a daunting and intrigue-filled task that has fallen short of professed goals in the post-Cold War era. In The Greening of the U.S. Military, Robert F. Durant delves into this too-little understood world of defense environmental policy to uncover the epic and ongoing struggle to build an environmentally sensitive culture within the post-Cold War military. Through over 100 interviews and thousands of pages of documents, reports, and trade newsletter accounts, he offers a telling tale of political, bureaucratic, and intergovernmental combat over the pace, scope, and methods of applying environmental and natural resource laws while ensuring military readiness. He then discerns from these clashes over principle, competing values, and narrow self-interest a theoretical framework for studying and understanding organizational change in public organizations. From Dick Cheney's days as Defense Secretary under President George H. W. Bush to William Cohen's Clinton-era-tenure and on to Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon, the battle over greening the military has been one with high-stakes consequences for both national defense and public health, safety, and the environment. Durant's polity-centered perspective and arguments will evoke needed scrutiny, debate, and dialogue over these issues in environmental, military, policymaking, and academic circles.
In 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declared that every human being, without "distinction of any kind," possesses a set of morally authoritative rights and fundamental freedoms that
Religion, Medicine, and Moral Anthropology
What, exactly, does it mean to be human? It is an age-old question, one for which theology, philosophy, science, and medicine have all provided different answers. But though a unified response to the question can no longer be taken for granted, how we answer it frames the wide range of different norms, principles, values, and intuitions that characterize today's bioethical discussions. If we don't know what it means to be human, how can we judge whether biomedical sciences threaten or enhance our humanity? This fundamental question, however, receives little attention in the study of bioethics. In a field consumed with the promises and perils of new medical discoveries, emerging technologies, and unprecedented social change, current conversations about bioethics focus primarily on questions of harm and benefit, patient autonomy, and equality of health care distribution. Prevailing models of medical ethics emphasize human capacity for self-control and self-determination, rarely considering such inescapable dimensions of the human condition as disability, loss, and suffering, community and dignity, all of which make it difficult for us to be truly independent. In Health and Human Flourishing, contributors from a wide range of disciplines mine the intersection of the secular and the religious, the medical and the moral, to unearth the ethical and clinical implications of these facets of human existence. Their aim is a richer bioethics, one that takes into account the roles of vulnerability, dignity, integrity, and relationality in human affliction as well as human thriving. Including an examination of how a theological anthropologyùa theological understanding of what it means to be a human beingùcan help us better understand health care, social policy, and science, this thought-provoking anthology will inspire much-needed conversation among philosophers, theologians, and health care professionals.
Advocacy and Health Policy for the Poor
Public silence in policymaking can be deafening. When advocates for a disadvantaged group decline to speak up, not only are their concerns not recorded or acted upon, but also the collective strength of the unspoken argument is lessenedùa situation that u