Administrative Discretion in Action

Administrative Discretion in Action : A Narrative of Eminent Domain

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Given that this book is written for scholars, practitioners, students, and community members, it emphasizes praxis, the critical interface between public administration theory and the practice of eminent domain. This book is the most comprehensive analysis on eminent domain in the field of public administration and offers unprecedented access and candor among public officials in the birthplace of Kelo and community members directly involved with the Kelo case, including Susette Kelo herself.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 9 black & white halftones, 7 tables
  • 073917858X
  • 9780739178584
  • 2,184,545

Review quote

Olejarski uses a mixed-method narrative to explore the use of eminent domain in practice. She illustrates the tensions among the various stakeholders in local government decisions about using eminent domain with the story of Kelo v. New London (2005). The tone is as conversational as is possible, given the technical subject matter. The author draws on survey and interview data from Connecticut to provide a narrative of how administrators and members of the public perceive their roles in the eminent domain process. She develops an interesting typology of administrators based on their attitudes toward public support and community improvement, although it is not clear how the characters involved in the Kelo case are located in it or how this might help explain the outcome. Although the book is more descriptive than analytical, Olejarski does develop some sage advice for practitioners in the field. Most important, she recommends that practitioners learn more about eminent domain ahead of time and that they work hard to foster a sense of inclusion and fairness among affected citizens. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and professionals. CHOICE This is an outstanding book in the grand tradition of Anthony Lewis's Gideon's Trumpet. Olejarski brings the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London (2005) to life. Anyone who thinks eminent domain is boring or that constitutional property rights make a person's home his or her castle will think again after reading it. An added plus is that the book explains how practicing public administrators think about the Constitution's "takings clause" in the aftermath of Kelo. This is a must read for everyone interested in public administration and law. -- David H. Rosenbloom, American University Based on painstaking and detailed research involving a variety of methodologies, Olejarski brings a richly detailed and textured portrayal involving multiple stakeholders. This book makes a major contribution to the study of administrative discretion in the takings process and has insights for a number of audiences ranging from everyday citizens, public managers, lawyers, to serious academics. To top it off, Amanda Olejarski's accessible, folksy, and lively writing style makes it a fun book to read! -- Sanjay K. Pandey, Rutgers University, Newark A smart, well-written, clear-sighted account of the Kelo case. Olejarski brings to life the knotty issue of eminent domain to show the central questions it raises for administrative practice and citizen participation. A resounding demonstration of the need for deeper reflection and better public dialogue. -- Camilla Stivers, Cleveland State University This book is a timely, well-researched treatment of the administrative issues in the Kelo decision. Olejarski brings alive the intricacies of the issues, and provides a detailed examination of the administrative and governance aspects of the case. This book ought to be required reading for all students of administrative discretion, governance, and law. The major contribution of this work is the analysis of the events surrounding the Kelo case through a lens of public administration. While Kelo has been examined at some length through legal, political, and journalistic filters, it has yet to be examined for the role public administrators played in the case. If one accepts the argument that administration is policy, then our knowledge of the underlying issues of Kelo are otherwise incomplete. This work fills that gap by shedding light on the important role played by public administrators throughout the life of the case. Moreover, the book provokes the reader to think more deeply about the role of public administration in eminent domain cases. This book provides a refreshing and timely examination of the actions of administrators that ultimately led to one of the more compelling Supreme Court cases of the new millennium. Olejarski's work adds a thoughtful and rich explanation of the actions (and inactions) of administrative officials, and illustrates how politics and administrative action are intertwined. Olejarski's work highlights the challenges of eminent domain cases, and illustrates how these cases are fundamentally a clash of public and private interests. More importantly, her analysis places this clash squarely in the administrative realm, thus drawing our attention to the discretion exercised by public administrators. This book is a "must read" for students of public administration, public policy, and law. -- John Charles Morris, Old Dominion University Dr. Amanda Olejarski's book-Administrative Discretion in Action: A Narrative of Eminent Domain-contributes significantly to our understanding of the legal and administrative dimensions of eminent domain, a development tool that has been both used and abused. Olejarski's book packs extensive substantive content drawn from diverse intellectual perspectives including law, public policy and management, planning, political and administrative theory, and ethics. By addressing a complex subject in a systematic, readable way, Dr. Olejarski has made her book useful for scholars and practitioners alike. -- James L. Garnett, Rutgers University, Camden Administrative Discretion in Action is indeed an excellent resource for administrators, citizens, students, and scholars to educate themselves about eminent domain as well as an exciting narrative to facilitate productive, transparent deliberation on takings. The good background on what administrative discretion means and allows, the thorough exploration of the challenges, both legal and procedural, surrounding eminent domain, and the history and depth of the Kelo case, including interviews with the principals and a survey of administrators in Connecticut, yield a manuscript that will be at home on the local government manager's desk, the neighbor's bookshelf, the student's backpack, and the scholar's briefcase. Each will find a good basis for pondering differences among public good and public interest, a stimulating and concise summary of what administrators and citizens understand about Kelo and eminent domain, and scholarly resources for further research after having been stimulated to want to know more. -- Larkin Dudley, Virginia Techshow more

About Amanda M. Olejarski

Amanda M. Olejarski is an assistant professor of public administration at Shippensburg University. Her research has been published in Administration & Society, Public Integrity, and Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.show more

Table of contents

Foreword by Charles T. Goodsell Preface Part I: Presenting the Problem Chapter 1: Eminent Domain in Action Chapter 2: An "Eminent" Problem for Public Administration Part II: Eminent Domain Uses and Abuses Chapter 3: The Low Standards of the High Court Chapter 4: A Narrative of Eminent Domain: Procedural or Constitutional? Part III Praxis: Theory to Practice Chapter 5: Please Save the Neighborhood! Chapter 6: Administrative Discretion in Action Chapter 7: Lost and Found: Administrators' Search for Guidance Conclusions: For Public Administrators, Public Administrationists, and Community Membersshow more

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