VI-1 Answering the Big Questions

This is the first of a series of virtual issues that feature the 75 most influential articles in Public Administration Review since its inception in 1940.  Many of the articles in this virtual issue embed a question in their titles:  “A Budget for All Seasons?”; “Why Can’t We Resolve the Research Issue in Public Administration?”; “Do Networks Really Work?”; “Why Measure Performance?”  Others strongly imply a question (for example, Can Public Administration Become a Science?).  The featured articles in this virtual issue, like others on the list of PAR’s 75 most influential, ask—and answer—big questions for the profession.P5Backdrop

Many of the authors of the fourteen articles in this virtual issue are not only well known to the public administration community, but within social and behavioral sciences, too.  Among them are a Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (Herbert A. Simon), Presidents of the American Political Science Association and two of the most distinguished political scientists of the 20th century (Robert Dahl and Aaron Wildavsky), and recipients of the Dwight Waldo Award for contributions to the professional literature of public administration during an extended career (Laurence J. O’Toole, Jr and James L. Perry).

The articles in this first virtual issue to celebrate PAR’s75th anniversary testify to its legacy of leadership for the profession.


Herbert A. Simon. 1946. The Proverbs of Administration. Public Administration Review 6(1): 53-67. Comments


Robert A. Dahl. 1947. The Science of Public Administration: Three Problems. Public Administration Review 7(1): 1-11. Comments


Verne B. Lewis. 1952. Toward a Theory of Budgeting. Public Administration Review 12(1): 42-54. Comments


Aaron Wildavsky. 1978. A Budget for All Seasons? Why the Traditional Budget Lasts. Public Administration Review 38(6): 501-509. Comments


Howard E. McCurdy, and Robert E. Cleary. 1984. Why Can’t We Resolve the Research Issue in Public Administration? Public Administration Review 43(1): 49-55. Comments


Joel D. Aberbach, and Bert A. Rockman. 1988. Mandates or Mandarins? Control and Discretion in the Modern Administrative State. Public Administration Review 48(2): 606-612. Comments


James L. Perry, and Lois Recascino Wise. 1990. The Motivational Bases of Public Service. Public Administration Review 50(3): 367-373. Comments


Robert D. Behn. 1995. The Big Questions of Public Management. Public Administration Review 55(4): 313-324. Comments


Laurence J. O’Toole Jr. 1997. Treating Networks Seriously: Practical and Research-Based Agendas in Public Administration. Public Administration Review57(1): 45-52. Comments


Cheryl Simrell King, Kathryn M. Feltey, and Bridget O’Neill Susel. 1998. The Question of Participation: Toward Authentic Public Participation in Public Administration. Public Administration Review 58(4): 317-326. Comments


Keith G.j Provan, and H. Brinton Milward. 2002. Do Networks Really Work? A Framework for Evaluating Public-Sector Organizational Networks. Public Administration Review 61(4): 414-423. Comments


Robert D. Behn. 2003. Why Measure Performance? Different Purposes Require Different Measures. Public Administration Review 63(5): 586-606. Comments


Renée A. Irvin, and John Stansbury. 2004. Citizen Participation in Decision Making: Is It Worth the Effort? Public Administration Review 64(1): 55-65. Comments


Young-joo Lee, and Vicky M. Wilkins. 2011. More Similarities or More Differences? Comparing Public and Nonprofit Managers’ Job Motivations. Public Administration Review 71(1): 45-56. Comments

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