Thursday, March 30, 2023

Wilson's "The Study of Administration" and the loss of Freedom


Woodrow Wilson's book "The Study of Administration," published in 1887, is considered a seminal work on public administration in the United States. In this book, Wilson argues that the U.S. government's administrative structure must be modernized and professionalized to keep pace with the country's changing needs.

Wilson believed that the traditional principles of separation of powers and checks and balances outlined in the U.S. Constitution needed to be revised to deal with the complex problems of modern society. Instead, he advocated for a strong, centralized administrative state to efficiently and effectively manage the country's affairs.

Wilson's ideas significantly impacted the development of public administration in the United States. The principles of scientific management and expertise-based decision-making that he espoused have been central to the evolution of public administration as a discipline.

Some scholars have argued that Wilson's ideas paved the way for the growth of a bureaucratic and unaccountable administrative state that has eroded constitutional limits on government power. They point to the expansion of government agencies and the delegation of legislative authority to administrative agencies as evidence of this trend.

Overall, Wilson's book remains an essential contribution to the study of public administration and the role of government in society. However, the ongoing debate over the appropriate balance between administrative expertise and democratic accountability continues to shape the evolution of public administration in the United States.



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