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Designed to serve as a basic text for an introductory course in Public Administration, this innovative work provides students with an understanding of the basic management functions that are covered in all standard textbooks with two important differences. First, it is written to address the needs of both the experienced practitioner and the entry-level public servant. Case examples bridge the content-rich environment of practitioners with the basic principles of public administration sought by pre-service students. Second, the discussion of basic management practices is grounded in the political and ethical tensions inherent in the American constitutional form of governance. This reflects the authors' belief that public administration operates as an integral part of the country's political traditions, and thereby helps define the political culture. The book provides a framework for understanding American political traditions and how they inform public administration as a political practice. Key Changes in the Second Edition include: A new introductory chapter that explains what the authors mean by a constitutional approach and why that is important. An expanded discussion of the role of civil society in promoting the common good. A new section in chapter 5 on New Public Governance. Updated exhibits that incorporate up-to-date census data and revenue figures (chapter 10). A new section in chapter 14 that recognises the importance of maintaining accountability in contract and networked systems of governance. Significantly rewritten chapters to add emphasis on the relevance of the chapter material to nonprofit organisations. A significantly revised bibliography which incorporates new bodies of research that have appeared since the first edition.