Analyzing the USA, Germany and France
Chapter 5: The import of US ideas by German Public Administration
In Germany, public administration preceded Public Administration. Whereas the public administration was strongly influenced by the contemporary political order, Public Administration had a normative and empirical goal. As administrative law was rather focused on legalistic prescription, a social science approach was demanded to model public administration to contemporary needs. The USA and US administrative science were hardly noted at the end of the nineteenth century. In the course of the twentieth century, the receptiveness for the USA increased considerably, until referencing US administrative science became a standard case. The transfer of ideas took effect in three ways: first, US Public Administration served as a symbolic point of reference to promote an administrative science. Second, US administrative science was referenced as state of the art concerning theoretical concepts, research methods or research questions. Third, the USA was a role model of democracy which was considered a beacon or a cautionary tale depending on the scholars’ political beliefs.
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