Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 19: Sustainability research in US public administration: pillar tensions and synergies

Alisa V. Moldavanova

Abstract

This chapter reviews sustainability research published in the top ten public administration and policy journals during the past quarter-century. It focuses on the types of research questions that scholars ask, the research methodologies they use, and the theoretical developments that have emerged. The review reveals that while earlier sustainability discourse largely focused on the environment, social and economic sustainability research is becoming increasingly prominent. Several factors are driving this development: recent fiscal recessions that negatively affected the carrying capacity of public administration institutions; the expansion of the new public management paradigm and growing concerns about the sustainability of public services and the multi-sector organizations and networks that provide such services; the uneven effects of natural and human-made disasters on different population groups; and concerns about urban revitalization and growing social inequality in cities. The chapter concludes that researchers should adopt a more holistic approach to sustainability.

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