Title

Towards the Meridian: Albert Camus, Democracy, and Public Administration

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-5-2018

Publication Title

Public Integrity

Abstract

This article draws on the writings of Albert Camus to argue that the use of abstractions, such as the “will of the people,” in thinking about democracy and public administration fosters a potentially dangerous antipathy towards political contestation within our field, an antipathy that was characteristic of the violent French Revolution and is shared by modern populist movements. Camus’ idea of the absurd is used to argue that American public administration scholars and practitioners should embrace, rather than decry, our Constitutional practices of contestation, and seek a middle path between the pursuit of democracy as an ideal and a recognition of the essentially contested character of that ideal.

DOI

10.1080/10999922.2018.1522181

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