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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on The Forest Ranger: A Study in Administrative Behavior, a scrupulous work of public administration scholarship authored by Herbert Kaufman. First published in 1960, the book has generated praise among professionals in forestry, sociology, public administration, and political science. It deals with so-called direct government and its primary instrument, Weberian bureaucracy. It is about the planning and work of the “lower echelons” of the Forest Service in translating policy into operating results, and more specifically about the agency’s administrative behavior. The chapter provides background on Kaufman before proceeding with a discussion of his central argument in the book. It also considers early reception of the book, especially among foresters and natural resource specialists. Finally, it analyzes Kaufman’s research design in terms of social science and concludes by evaluating whether his book can still be considered a classic in public administration.

Keywords: Forest Ranger, public administration, Herbert Kaufman, forestry, political science, direct government, bureaucracy, Forest Service, administrative behavior, social science

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