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Edmund C. Stazyk and H. George Frederickson

Since its inception, the aim of this Handbook has been three-fold. We have sought, first and foremost, to assemble a unique collection of chapters that offers our readers a broad yet comprehensive scholarly overview of US public administration theory and practice—to be sure, a daunting task. United States public administration is vast in its domains, covering considerable intellectual terrain. For example, Dimock and colleagues have characterized merely the study of public administration in the following manner. [P]ublic administration examines every aspect of government’s efforts to discharge the laws and to give effect to public policy; as a process, it is all the steps taken between the time an enforcement agency assumes a jurisdiction and the last brick is placed (but includes also the agency’s participation, if any, in the formulation of the programme in the first place); and, as a vocation, it is organizing and directing the activities of others in a public agency. (Dimock et al. 1958, pp. 11–12)