JOHN DEWEY'S THEORY OF CITIZENSHIP AND COMMUNITY IN THE DEVELOPING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AS SEEN THROUGH THE PHILOSOPHY OF PRAGMATISM AS A PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION MODEL FOR THE CITIZEN'S ROLE IN PUBLIC GOVERNANCE
Lailas, Elaine Andrews
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At the time of the founding of the field of public administration, government was in a condition of some degree of failure. Since elitist and corrupt politics were the predominant mode of government at the time, the cause of this failure was seen as insufficient rationality, and coinciding with this, a lack of scientific information and technical expertise. Also, a popular involvement in government was perceived to be a need. This created a demand for a scientific rational government, run by technocratic experts that was, at the same time, open to popular access. In principle, this idea is consistent with Dewey's thought, but what developed is a form of government that saw science, or the process of bringing knowledge to bear on problems that made interest groups the key mode of access to policy making. This solution appeared to meet the needs of the time, while in fact it was far off the mark. In all of this, Dewey's true and more appropriate alternative was lost. These conditions still exist. The American government is a seemingly, ailing government; but the only thing that is suggested is to have more science and give groups more "participative" access. In essence, virtual gridlock has resulted. One solution is to rediscover and accurately understand Dewey, who can help us rethink science and the knowledge process in government and the possibilities for citizen involvement in government.
- Doctoral Dissertations