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Public administration

Public administration is the implementation of government policy and also an academic discipline that studies this implementation and prepares civil servants for working in the public service. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal... is to advance management and policies so that government can function." Some of the various definitions which have been offered for the term are: "the management of public programs"; the "translation of politics into the reality that citizens see every day"; and "the study of government decision making, the analysis of the policies themselves, the various inputs that have produced them, and the inputs necessary to produce alternative policies."

Public administration is "centrally concerned with the organization of government policies and programmes as well as the behavior of officials (usually non-elected) formally responsible for their conduct" Many unelected public servants can be considered to be public administrators, including heads of city, county, regional, state and federal departments such as municipal budget directors, human resources (H.R.) administrators, city managers, census managers, state mental health directors, and cabinet secretaries. Public administrators are public servants working in public departments and agencies, at all levels of government.

In the US, civil servants and academics such as Woodrow Wilson promoted American civil service reform in the 1880s, moving public administration into academia. However, "until the mid-20th century and the dissemination of the German sociologist Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy" there was not "much interest in a theory of public administration." The field is multidisciplinary in character; one of the various proposals for public administration's sub-fields sets out six pillars, including human resources, organizational theory, policy analysis and statistics, budgeting, and ethics.

Public Administration (journal)

Public Administration is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal which covers research, theory, and practice in public administration, public policy, public organization theory, and public management. It was established in 1923 and was ranked in the top of its field by a 1983 survey. One of its founders was the Liberal and later Labour statesman Richard Haldane (1st Viscount of Haldane), and the journal awards an annual prize in his honour to the most distinguished practitioner essay published in Public Administration in that year. The journal is published by Wiley-Blackwell and is edited by Arjen Boin. From 1983-2011, the journal was edited by R. A. W. Rhodes. Public Administration is indexed by Scopus and the Social Sciences Citation Index. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2014 impact factor of 1.518, ranking it 35th out of 161 journals in the category "Political Science" and 11th out of 46 journals in the category "Public Administration".