When a government creates policies, regulations, laws and guidelines, it rigorously and astutely applies them through what is called an act and service of public administration. Public administration is then implemented within an organizational structure. The bureaucracy that this structure operates illustrate the various operatives and/or personnel and/or leaders that makes the decision and leads the methodologies, tactics and strategies to implement the said policies, regulations, laws and guidelines.
The bureaucracy is likewise responsible in ensuring the efficient and effective ways and means for such act and service. In executing its mandate, public administration must be dynamic. It must have a natural course of evolution and appropriate change and improvements that responds to the multifarious and complex demands of public service; constituent needs and demands and expectations. “Bureaucracy and Self-Government…” is a book that gives enlightenment and on how concepts of public administration renders its appropriate service to the American people.
The Book’s Insights Bureaucracy in its principle is the rational and academic structure of the organizational process in rendering service and implementing policies and procedures of any institution – like the government. The positive principle of bureaucracy has however evolved into a negative context in the modern time wherein red tape and other forms of inadequacies. It is because the bureaucracy in rendering public administration operates within two types of concepts.
It is therefore very important and interesting that Dr. Cook laid out in his book that public administration in American politics is operated both within the instrumental concept and in the constitutive concept. The instrumental concept believes that the job of bureaucracy in public administration is to execute the instructions of public officials. Within the simplicity of this concept there lies the insufficiency of complete rendering of public service. That is the reason why Dr.
Cook has outlined that the past two centuries of America is a struggle to create life and meaning and expectations of the instrumental concept of public administration and service. The constitutive concept believes that the job of bureaucracy in public administration is to shape and characterize public policy and political community. This concept allows formative methods that bring shape and structure to laws and policies of government. Creativity and dynamic insights and foresights of government officials and public administrators are exercised in using this concept.
The concluding insight of Dr. Cook in “Bureaucracy and Self-Government…” outlines principles of responsible public administration. Firstly, with proper responsibility in governing and administering comes along an unlimited ability. A complete and consummate commitment to adherence to the law must be characterized in the proponents of public administration. Government leaders and officials must take the rule of law as their way of life. Secondly, within the rule of law “an adequate sphere of constitutionally legitimate independence must be carved”.
(Cook, 1996, page 177). This principle is coherent with what government administrators have sworn to in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. It is important that discretion of the law is carried out with integrity. The Book’s Presentation The book is presented in a very scholarly format. He extensive experience of Dr. Brian J. Cook in the study of politics and public administration render authority on the subject matter. The book is seemingly passionate in pursuing ways and means for public administration to still attain its ideals.
The book traced well established historical background that served the impetus on how American government administration and management has evolved – thus providing the foundation of the conduct and manner of public administration of modern day. Whatever the course of history and evolution American politics and public administration may have tracked and traced, the book offers confidence and hope that the better of valor shall surface in public administration in America. The Book’s Author Dr.
Brian J. Cook is presently a Professor in the Center for Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public and International Affairs of Virginia Tech. He earned his BA degree in Political Science in 1977 from Cleveland State University with magna cum laude honors. His further education in government and politics earned him is masters in 1982 and doctorate in 1984 – both from the University of Maryland. He has taught; lectured and done research on politics and government since 1979.
Dr. Cook has been endowed with numerous foundation and university grants and government sponsored research. He has written and published three books: “Bureaucratic Politics and Regulatory Reform: The EPA and Emissions Trading” (1988); “Bureaucracy and Self-Government: Reconsidering the Role of Public Administration in American Politics” (1996) and “Democracy and Administration: Woodrow Wilson’s Ideas and the Challenges of Public Management” (2007).
In addition he has written and published numerous book chapters; peer reviewed and non-reviewed articles; book reviews; conference papers and reports covering a very wide array of thoughts, principles and theories in American politics, government, administration policies. (Brian J. Cook Curriculum Vitae, 2008, pages 1-2) Works Cited: Cook, Brian J. Bureaucracy and Self-Government: Reconsidering the Role of Public Administration in American Politics John Hopkins University Press, 1996 Brian J. Cook Curriculum Vitae, September 2008 http://www. cpap. vt. edu/doc/BJC_Curriculum_Vitae_09-08. pdf [accessed 2 June 2009]