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

Administration and Society, Doi.org/10.1177/0095399719877160

41 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 26 Sep 2019

See all articles by Alasdair S. Roberts

Alasdair S. Roberts

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy

Date Written: July 12, 2019

Abstract

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 about a "schism" in research. However, linkages between levels can be demonstrated easily. At the macro-level, leaders develop an overall strategy for pursuing national priorities, which determines the broad architecture of the state. 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 categorizing people -- as subjects or citizens, for example -- and by redefining categories. Macro-level strategies evolve, with consequences for the agenda at the meso- and micro-levels. Experience at lower levels also shapes strategy at the macro-level. The interaction among levels is illustrated by comparison of three eras in modern American history.

Keywords: public administration, levels of analysis, administrative history, behavioral public administration

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Alasdair S., Bridging Levels of Public Administration: How Macro Shapes Meso and Micro (July 12, 2019). Administration and Society, Doi.org/10.1177/0095399719877160. 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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