© 2014

Why Public Service Matters

Public Managers, Public Policy, and Democracy

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 1-21
  3. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 23-42
  4. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 59-78
  5. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 79-100
  6. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 101-123
  7. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 125-150
  8. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 151-175
  9. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 177-196
  10. Robert F. Durant
    Pages 197-215
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 217-290

About this book


Why Public Service Matters conveys the importance, purpose, and nobility of a career as a civil servant in the United States. It does so, however, with an unflinching eye on the realpolitik that drives public administration in America's "compensatory state" and on the pitfalls of reformers' focus on bureaucratic, rather than democratic, administration. The book links the nation's ability to handle contemporary policy problems with the strategic, tactical, and normative quality of public management. In doing so, it offers newcomers a rare, concise, and accessible overview of the field. Readers will gain an appreciation for the challenges, choices, and opportunities facing public managers as they help advance a sense of common purpose informed by democratic constitutional values in twenty-first century America.


democracy management Manager Policy public management public managers service strategy

About the authors

Robert Durant is Professor of Public Administration and Policy at American University, USA. He is the recipient of four lifetime achievement awards, including the John M. Gaus Award and Lectureship from the American Political Science Association, awarded in recognition of his exemplary research in the joint tradition of political science and public administration.

Bibliographic information


"This is the perfect introductory public administration book written by one of the top experts in the world. It conveys everything one needs to know about public administration in a very readable format, easily convincing the reader that there is no higher calling than public service." - Rosemary O'Leary, Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, University of Kansas, USA

"Professor Durant has written a text that ties the evolution of thought in public administration to broader systemic changes in American government It does so in the context of major issues that today's public servants must confront. A masterful and balanced presentation of doctrinal perspectives as they relate to core functions in PA, it is sophisticated and erudite yet written in a way that is readily accessible to students." - William West, Professor and Sara H. Lindsey Chair in the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas AM University

"This is a much-needed new introduction to public administration that will inform and inspire students interested in public service careers. It covers all of the fundamentals in a refreshing new way, focusing on information and concepts that future public managers need to understand to function effectively. I think students will enjoy and appreciate it. I am certainly looking forward to using in my classes." - J. Edward Kellough, Department of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia, USA