Abstract

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The Path Not Taken: Leonard White and the Macrodynamics of Administrative Development


Alasdair S. Roberts


Suffolk University Law School

January 9, 2009

Public Administration Review, Vol. 69, No. 4, pp. 764-775, July/August 2009
Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 09-04

Abstract:     
This is a review of four books by Leonard White: The Federalists (1948), The Jeffersonians (1951), The Jacksonians (1954), and The Republican Era (1958). In these books, White develops an approach to the study of administrative development which accounts for a broad range of considerations, including political and economic structure, the organization of the international order, popular culture, the stock of available communication and organizational technologies, and executive talent. White also offers an early argument about the significance of path dependence in institutional evolution. White's approach is largely concerned with the macrodynamics of administrative development. It has been neglected within the field of public administration over the last half-century. A literature that built on White's work would have improved the field's ability to anticipate and explain recent failures in state-building and administrative reform. This review received the Burchfield Award from Public Administration Review for 2009.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: public administration, administrative history, United States, Leonard White

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Date posted: January 14, 2009 ; Last revised: April 28, 2010

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Alasdair S., The Path Not Taken: Leonard White and the Macrodynamics of Administrative Development (January 9, 2009). Public Administration Review, Vol. 69, No. 4, pp. 764-775, July/August 2009; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 09-04. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1322562

Contact Information

Alasdair S. Roberts (Contact Author)
Suffolk University Law School ( email )
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.aroberts.us

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