chapter  25
14 Pages

The Emergence of the American Administrative State: The Intellectual Origins

WithJ. Argyle Nolan

This chapter argues that to understand the role of government and of public administration, it is necessary to go back to our intellectual heritage. The American administrative state is often portrayed as a creation of the last century. The American administrative state developed during an era of intense questioning of the relationship between church and state, between sacerdotium and regnum, questions that dominated much of early American administrative development. The chapter provides a framework with four cells, each representing a way of viewing human society and organization. Borrowing in part from Daniel Elazar, these views can be labeled as either marketplace, a protectorate, responsive commonwealth or directed commonwealth. Each of these views sees organizations differently, in terms of both the way individuals behave in organizations and the role organizations play in society, and each has influenced the development of the American administrative state. And each of the disparate views has impacted the intellectual origins of the American administrative state.