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Challenging times, challenging administrationThe role of public administration in producing social justice in Ireland$
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Chris McInerney

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088292

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088292.001.0001

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Contemporary challenges for public administration

Contemporary challenges for public administration

Chapter:
(p.8) 1 Contemporary challenges for public administration
Source:
Challenging times, challenging administration
Author(s):

Chris McInerney

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719088292.003.0002

Chapter 1 explores a number of the broader, contemporary challenges facing public administration, in Ireland and more generally. The first challenge concerns the role of the administration system, in generating as well as addressing the economic and social crisis currently confronting Ireland and assesses the relative merits of arguments about the intellectual complicity or intellectual timidity of public officials in decision making. Related to this is the complex management of the politics-administration dichotomy and questions about the division of roles between elected representatives and public officials. The chapter also reflects on current levels of confidence in public administration which have been deteriorating in Ireland and elsewhere over the past number of years and questions whether a retreat from governance and more progressive forms of civic engagement will do anything to stem this dilution of confidence. Finally, Chapter 1 reflects on issues of capacity in public administration, contrasting the current emphasis on technical, bureaucratic capacity building at the expense of transformative and relational capacity.

Keywords:   Public administration, economic crisis, Capacity building, Relational state

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