Reinventing Government or Reinventing Ourselves

Reinventing Government or Reinventing Ourselves : The Role of Citizen Owners in Making a Better Government

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Challenging the assumptions of the "reinventing-government" movement now in vogue, this book unites a call for active citizenship with the current concern for improving public-agency performance. The author argues that citizens should not be viewed as customers of government, as reinventing-government advocates assume, but rather as government's owners. By analyzing a turn-of-the-century model of urban reform that depicts this relationship between citizens and government, Schachter shows how reinvigorating an active public is essential to increasing agency efficiency and responsiveness. She offers two strategies for moving toward active citizenship: better citizenship education, including service learning, and public agencies' provision of better-focused information for their owners. This book will spark much-needed debate on the role of active citizens in administrative reform.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 138 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791431568
  • 9780791431566

Back cover copy

Challenging the assumption of the 'reinventing-government' movement now in vogue, this book unites a call for active citizenship with the current concern for improving public-agency performance.
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Review quote

"What I like most about this book is that it brings historically grounded arguments to bear on the citizenship/professionalism debate that has simmered since professional management developed at the turn of the century. Citizenship is an enduring theme in the public administration, management, and political science literature. The topic is destined to remain a front burner issue given the impact of federal budget cuts on programs, entitlements, and services. The Contract With America requires individuals to contemplate citizenship. Some expanded citizenship duties will enable individuals to rationalize and cope with a downsized government." -- James A. Stever, University of Cincinnati "The topic of this book is central to an important and current debate in the field of public administration. More than that, it addresses a fundamental issue of governance--the appropriate role of govenment in society--and that lends it an importance beyond public administration." -- Brian R. Fry, University of South Carolina "In this era of 'reinventing' and 'reengineering, ' it is nice to see someone take a different view of this process, particularly as it relates to citizenship. I think a lot of scholars (and students) will want to read this book." -- Curtis Ventriss, University of Vermont
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About Hindy L. Schachter

Hindy Lauer Schachter is Professor of Management in the School of Industrial Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is the author of Frederick Taylor and the Public Administration Community: A Reevaluation, also published by SUNY Press, and Public Agency Communication: Theory and Practice.
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