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The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management

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9780198297659: The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management
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Why does public management–the art of the state–so often go wrong, producing failure and fiasco instead of public service? What are the different ways in which control or regulation can be applied to government? Why do we find contradictory recipes for the improvement of public services? Are the forces of modernity set to produce worldwide convergence in ways of organizing government? This important new study aims to explore such questions, central to current debates over public management. Combining contemporary and historical experience, it employs grid/group cultural theory as an organizing frame and method of exploration. Using examples from different places and eras, the study seeks to identify the recurring variety of ideas about how to organize public services. And contrary to widespread claims that modernization will bring a new global uniformity, it argues that variety is unlikely to disappear from doctrine and practice in public management.

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clearly written, theoretically amibitious and interesting, historically sensitive and analytically sharp work based on exceptionally wide reading that has been intelligently absorbed and organised ... it is strongly to be recommended both to the specialist whose ideas are likely to be severely challenged by Hood's approach and to the general reader who wishes to acquire an understanding of ideas on ways of organising institutions in general and those of public management in particular (Reason in Practice Vol 1, No 1, 2001)

this well-written and very readable book on public management is rich with references to the ideas of past thinkers on the subject and to past practices of public management (Reason in Practice, Vol 1, No 1, 2001)

a timely and important book, by one of Europe's most repected administrative scholars ... this text is tightly organized, well-written and thought provoking ... a clear, concise, comprehensive survey of major public management ideas, their strengths and weaknesses. (Richard J. Stillman II, New Institutionalism and Organizational Theory, A Review Article.)

"The book stands in the tradition of Hood's other work - intellectually virtuosic, speculative in argument, and lifting itself above the detail it addresses." Richard Parry, University of Edinburgh, Journal of Social Policy, May 2000

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Winner: W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Prize

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9780198280408: The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management

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