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The Brownlow-Brookings Feud: The Politics of Dissent within the Academic Community

Journal of Policy History, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 311-340, Summer 1995

49 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2008  

Alasdair S. Roberts

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy

Date Written: June 10, 1994

Abstract

In January, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt submitted an ambitious plan for administrative reform of the national government to Congress. The Brownlow recommendations produced intense debate in Congress. However, some of the most important skirmishes in this battle were not fought in public, and even after half a century remain largely obscured from public view. One such skirmish was the contest within the academic community about the recommendations on administrative reform that were to be put before Congress. This paper considers why all three parties to this fight -- the Brownlow Committee, the Brookings Institution, and the Rockefeller Foundation -- went to such lengths to avoid public disagreement about the Brownlow recommendations. A public disagreement threatened to undermine the academic community's demonstration of neutrality, and thus to undermine the stability of the Public Administration community itself.

Keywords: public administration, reorganization, New Deal, rhetoric, Roosevelt, science, rhetoric

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Alasdair S., The Brownlow-Brookings Feud: The Politics of Dissent within the Academic Community (June 10, 1994). Journal of Policy History, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 311-340, Summer 1995. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1318399

Alasdair Roberts (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy ( email )

Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
6175999029 (Phone)

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