Administration and Politics Dichotomy Essay
The essay requires you to synthesize the reading material from last week with this week’s reading material; specifically, Wilson’s paper versus Norton Long’s. You would recall from last week that Wilson advocates a division of government into two spheres: the political sphere and the administrative sphere. The political sphere makes the law i.e. Congress and the President. You may search for a flowchart of the legislative process online to give you an idea of how legislation is passed. Once the House and Senate agree on a bill, it is sent to the President who signs it into law. Think of a scenario where the President signs a bill creating the Clean Air Act. Per Wilson, the political sphere is done with their portion of the task. The administrative sphere comes into the picture to implement this Clean Air Act. For example, what levels of pollutants are acceptable? The Environmental Protection Agency enters the picture to set regulations and to ensure the car manufacturers and other industries reduce their pollution levels. According to Wilson, the EPA’s role is not political, rather it is a business. Public administrators have been assigned a task and they rely on their expertise to execute that task. Public administrators must be given the discretion to work in their sphere without any political meddling. In Wilson’s words: “Although politics sets the tasks for administration, it should not be suffered to manipulate its offices”. This is the politics administration dichotomy model.
In order to write a convincing essay, review Norton Long’s essay. There is an extensive summary of Long’s essay in this week’s notes. For the complete article, see the attachment. How does Long differ from Wilson? How does Long perceive the role of politics in administration? Does he support a dichotomy? Do you agree that politics can be separate from administration? Does Robertson (from this week’s case study) support Wilson or Long’s view? Think about these questions as you write the paper.
The issues of politics and administration dichotomy first raised by Woodrow Wilson continue to generate debate among scholars of public administration in modern time. While some think Wilson’s idea was useful, others reject the idea as impossible. In a 2-3 page paper, and in your opinion, is that distinction practical and workable? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using such a dichotomy today as a way to advance that field of study? Support your case with examples