ABSTRACT

The essence of Chapter 4 was written in 1996. In public administration, the standard treatment of administrative discretion is based on the Friedrich-Finer debate. Herman Finer (1941) argued that democratic control of bureaucracy was the primary issue and that to ensure democratic government, public administrators should hew close to the law and the regulations and have little discretion in their interpretation. Carl Friedrich (1940) argued that democratic government requires some level of bureaucratic expertise and some considerable latitude in applying that expertise to actual cases. The details of this debate are found in every public administration textbook.