- the oxford handbooks of American Politics
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Abbreviations
- About the Contributors
- A Heritage Made Our Own
- Historical Institutionalism, Political Development, and the Study of American Bureaucracy
- The “First New Federalism” and the Development of the Administrative State, 1883–1929
- A Gendered Legacy?: The Progressive Reform Era Revisited
- Reevaluating Executive‐Centered Public Administrative Theory
- Metaphors and the Development of American Bureaucracy
- Herbert Hoover's Revenge: Politics, Policy, and Administrative Reform Movements
- Agency Theory and the Bureaucracy
- Agency Design and Evolution
- Goal Ambiguity and the Study of American Bureaucracy
- Street‐Level Bureaucracy Theory
- The Promises and Paradoxes of Performance‐Based Bureaucracy
- Leading Through Cultural Change
- Postmodernism, Bureaucracy, and Democracy
- Myths, Markets, and the <i>Visible Hand</i> of American Bureaucracy
- Networking in the Shadow of Bureaucracy
- The Promises, Performance, and Pitfalls of Government Contracting
- Reluctant Partners?: Nonprofit Collaboration, Social Entrepreneurship, and Leveraged Volunteerism
- Policy Tools, Mandates, and Intergovernmental Relations
- Promises, Perils, and Performance of Netcentric Bureaucracy
- Multilevel Methods in the Study of Bureaucracy
- Legislative Delegation of Authority to Bureaucratic Agencies
- “Presidentializing” the Bureaucracy
- Bureaucracy, Democracy, and Judicial Review
- Interest Groups, Rulemaking, and American Bureaucracy
- Policymaking, Bureaucratic Discretion, and Overhead Democracy
- Choice‐Theoretic Approaches to Bureaucratic Structure
- Has Governance Eclipsed Government?
- Revitalizing Human Resources Management
- Representative Bureaucracy
- Innovations in Budgeting and Financial Management
- The Prospects for Revitalizing Ethics in a New Governance Era
- Experimental Methods, Agency Incentives, and the Study of Bureaucratic Behavior
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article first outlines the major postmodern perspectives on modernism and their implications for democracy and American bureaucracy. Modernism and postmodernism debate two visions. Postmodernism charts modern problems by looking from new vantage points at modernism's central impulse, reason, and mechanism — bureaucracy. The article also presents examples of postmodern views on bureaucracy within public administration and political science, with strategic contributions from organization theory, sociology, and industrial psychology. The criticisms of postmodernism which marshal a postmodern rejoinder are then covered. These include what we call the ‘dead babies’, ‘anything goes’, ‘backfire’, and ‘cui bono’ critiques. Furthermore, a brief argument for the importance of postmodern perspectives is provided in the way it is thought about and the article looks at studies of the relationships among American society, government, and bureaucracy. As the brief review of postmodernism reaches its limits, there are more questions than answers.
Ralph P. Hummel is Co‐director of the Institute for Applied Phenomenology in Science and Technology, Spruce Head Island, Maine.
Camilla Stivers is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
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