Public administration seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of the internal structure and functioning of government, in all its complexity, and its interaction with society and its citizens. Public Administration: The Interdisciplinary Study of Government provides an account of the discipline, considering its history, growth, boundaries, and underlying assumptions. It tracks the emergence of the field against a background of the expanding conception of the state and the growth of public services, and situates it within the three branches of knowledge - natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It surveys the sources of knowledge of public administration, and how this is fragmented within the discipline's specializations, the social sciences, and government and society at large. It examines how leading authors map the discipline, the application of different theories, the associated schools of thought and intellectual debates, and the role of knowledge integration. Scholars in public administration have initiated much debate as to whether it should be treated as a science, a craft or profession, or an art.
This book argues that to develop a comprehensive understanding of government and its complexity requires a truly interdisciplinary approach.