Title

A Contractarian Approach to Public Administration

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-1990

Publication Title

Administration and Society.

Abstract

This article attempts to apply a contractarian approach to the design of public administrative structures and processes. Such an approach does not seek to explain how particular societies or communities actually develop constitutions. Rather, the contractarian approach offers a basis for normative evaluation of rules and institutions by establishing a legitimate link between the individual and the state. As such, it seeks to explain the logic rather than the history of constitutions. This article speculates as to what kind of public administration might have emerged hypothetically from unanimous agreement between rational individuals in a constitutional setting. This approach suggests the desirability of a system of public administration which provides administrators with significant discretion in following the directives of political leaders, while, at the same time, constraining the use of that discretion for private purposes. This article goes on to discuss normative implications for various schools of public administration.

Volume

22

Issue

3

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS