Bridging Levels of Public Administration: How Macro Shapes Meso and Micro

42 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 14 Mar 2019

See all articles by Alasdair S. Roberts

Alasdair S. Roberts

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy

Date Written: March 12, 2019

Abstract

[Revised March 2019] Scholars in public administration now recognize three levels of analysis: macro, meso and micro. But there is uncertainty about the relationship between levels and concern that attention to one level means neglect of another. In fact, the levels are closely linked. At the macro-level, leaders develop overall strategies for pursuing national priorities. Specific institutions must be built, renovated or managed to give effect to these strategies: this is the meso-level of public administration. Overall strategies also shape the micro-level relationship between people who rule and people who are ruled. This is done by labeling people -- as subjects or citizens, for example -- and by redefining labels themselves. Macro-level governance strategies change over time, with important consequences for the agenda at the meso- and micro-levels of public administration. This is demonstrated by comparison of three eras in twentieth-century American history.

Keywords: public administration, levels of analysis

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Alasdair S., Bridging Levels of Public Administration: How Macro Shapes Meso and Micro (March 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3291763 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3291763

Alasdair S. 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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