Beyond a Government of Strangers

Beyond a Government of Strangers : How Career Executives and Political Appointees Can Turn Conflict to Cooperation

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With rare exceptions, few large institutions change bosses every two or three years. Yet the U.S. Government has temps on top. American government has 3,000 presidential political appointees and thousands more state and local political appointees, who refer to their in-and-out bosses as 'Christmas help.' Beyond a Government of Strangers is the first book to focus on the men and women who stick around, on the career executives and their own roles in the executive branch. Robert Maranto provides pithy, sage advice on how career bureaucrats can improve tenuous relationships and overcome conflicts with political appointees, especially during presidential transitions, for more effective government from the top more

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 147.3 x 226.1 x 12.7mm | 249.48g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 073911090X
  • 9780739110904

Review quote

I served every U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director from 1979 to 1998 and reported directly to five of them, and thus went through the transition when each arrived. I can thus say from direct experience that Professor Maranto has hit his target squarely. I hope that my successors as Director of the Federal Executive Institute will have the wisdom to put this book among the management books that sit on the shelf of every executive bedroom at the Institute. -- Curt Smith, Hampden Sydney College, and former Director, U.S. Federal Executive Institute Beyond a Government of Strangers is a fascinating look inside the critical nexus where political appointees and career bureaucrats meet. It is a unique and substantial contribution to the fields of presidential politics, public management, and public human resource management-indeed, it should be read by all interested in effective governance. -- Stephen E. Condrey, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia Bob Maranto and his colleagues irreverently take on much of what passes for conventional wisdom about political appointee-careerist relations in the federal government. They do so armed with wit, wisdom, data, experience, and a welcome conversational prose style. Shibboleths beware! The verdict's in and Beyond a Government of Strangers delivers it, puts it in context, and tells appointees and careerists what to do about it. -- Robert F. Durant, American University Stepping into the shoes of Hugh Heclo's classic, A Government of Strangers, is a tall order. But in this lively book, Maranto admirably succeeds. He not only explores the nooks and crannies of how the upper levels of the American bureaucracy really work. He illustrates his cogent analysis with first-person tales from the public executives who live that life. The result is a unique and valuable look at the public service-and what we can do to improve it. -- Donald F. Kettl, Stanley I. Sheerr Endowed Term Professor in the Social Sciences, Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania Even highly successful and experienced career executives can find living at the intersection between political appointees and the career civil service tricky at best and fraught with peril at worst. Dr. Maranto's book should be required reading on both sides of this fence. -- Carol A. Bonasaro, President, Senior Executives Association Maranto's book is chock full of good advice, yet it is not preachy... If the insights in this book are heeded, accommodation [between career civil servants and political appointees] will occur sooner rather than later, and everyone will be able to get on with their mission: serving the public. -- James P. Pfiffner, George Mason Universityshow more

About Robert Maranto

Robert Maranto teaches political science and public administration at Villanova University. He formerly served as senior faculty member at the Federal Executive Institute. Maranto has done extensive research on political appointees in government, civil service reform, and education reform (particularly charter schools). His most recent book isRadical Reform of the Civil Service (with Steven Condrey, Lexington Books, 2001).show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Political Appointees, Career Executives, and Leadership at the "T" Chapter 2 Why Presidents Need Political Appointees, and How Those Appointees (Mostly) Add Value to Government Chapter 3 Why We Fight: The Causes of Conflict between Career and Political Officials Chapter 4 A Careerist's Perspective: Keeping Bad Ideas from Becoming Presidential Policy Chapter 5 Beyond the Fire Hose: How We Orient Political Appointees, and How We Could Do It Better Chapter 6 Beyond a Government of Strangers: What You Can Do to Get Along with Your Political Appointees Chapter 7 Appendix 1: A Model Orientation Curriculum for Political Appointees Chapter 8 Appendix 2: Guidelines for Loyal Dissent in Governmentshow more

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