ABSTRACT

The initial conceptualization of social equity in public administration was rather simple and speculative. Not long after publication of the initial essay, it was evident that the application of social equity to public administration needed elaboration. This chapter starts by putting issues of fairness and equity in the broader historical American context. Matters of fairness and equity are at the core of the American public ethos. It is not surprising then that that American public administration reflects the central place of social equity in our public life. What is surprising is that it took so long for social equity to emerge in public administration and to take its place as one of the core values in theory and practice.