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A Transatlantic History of Public Administration

Analyzing the USA, Germany and France

Fritz Sager, Christian Rosser, Céline Mavrot and Pascal Y. Hurni

Intellectual traditions are commonly regarded as cultural variations, historical legacies, or path dependencies. By analysing road junctions between different traditions of Public Administration this book contests the dominant perspective of path-dependent national silos, and highlights the ways in which they are hybrid and open to exogenous ideas.
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Chapter 2: Setting the scene: the administrative traditions of Germany, France and the USA

Fritz Sager, Christian Rosser, Céline Mavrot and Pascal Y. Hurni


This chapter discusses how the concept of intellectual traditions has been used in comparative Public Administration. The Continental European traditions of Germany and France are recapitulated before the discussion turns to the US tradition. It is argued that German and French Public Administration were traditionally dominated by law, whereas US scholars have always drawn on several neighboring disciplines of the social sciences and law. The chapter also discusses to what extent Public Administration in Continental Europe and the US are different in terms of the strong-state tradition of the former and the weak-state tradition of the latter.

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