Politics-Administration Dichotomy Theory

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Svara (2001) examined early literature about public administration in the United States to determine whether the politics-administration dichotomy concept is an accurate depiction of the founding theory of public administration. His research indicated that the politics-administration dichotomy model was a myth fabricated by Wallace Sayre, and he concluded from early literature that the relationship between politics and public administration, from its founding, was characterized by interdependence and collaboration (Svara, 2001). Based on his divergent characterization of the interrelationship between politicians and public administrators from a historical perspective, Svara (2001) proposed an alternative to dichotomy - the complementarity…show more content…
Moreover, between 1937 and 1960, behavioralists like Chester I. Barnard and Herbert Simon were not fighting against a non-existing or mythological theory of dichotomy to revolutionize public administration (King & Chilton, 2009). The Behavioral Revolution was clearly set at odds against the politics-administration dichotomy theory, and its supporters argued for a more cooperative system to facilitate reciprocal influence and effective political-administrative communications (Demir, n.d.; King & Chilton, 2009; Uwizeyimana, 2013). Even if the word dichotomy was not used in early literature as it is in contemporary literature, the intention of classical scholars like Wilson was to establish the administrative state as a bureaucracy separate and distinct from politics to the extent that “the administration lies outside the proper sphere of politics” (Wilson, 1887, p.…show more content…
(n.d.). Politics and administration: A review of research and some suggestions. Paper presented at the Annual ADSPA Florida Public Administration Colloquium, Boca Raton, FL. Retrieved from http://www.fau.edu/spa/pdf/Demir_PoliticsandAdministration_New_MS.pdf King, S. M., & Chilton, B. S. (2009). Administration in the public interest. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Svara, J. H. (2001). The myth of the dichotomy: Complementarity of politics and administration in the past and future of public administration. Public Administration Review, 61(2), 176-183. Uwizeyimana, D. E. (2013). The politics-administration dichotomy: Was Woodrow Wilson misunderstood or misquoted. Journal of US-China Public Administration, 10(2), 165-173. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/74b4/3b478da1ae9b33b514381ddb5c3a5fc80ce2.pdf Wilson, W. (1887). The study of administration. Political Science Quarterly, 2(2), 197-22. Retrieved from
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