Politics and Administration at the Top

Lessons from Down Under

Delmer Dunn's important new book is a shorter, Australian version of Hugh Heclo's Government of Strangers—really more a government of friends in this case. . . . Politics and Administration at the Top is a provocative and insightful work that should be read by scholars and practitioners.
The Annals, American Academy of Political and Social Science
Winner of the 1998 Charles Levine Award

Winner of the 1998 Charles Levine Award for best book on administration and policyDunn focuses on two levers of power in modern democracies, the elected party politician and the professional state bureaucrat, using Australia as his example. Dunn uses interviews with Cabinet ministers, members of their staffs, and department heads of two governments in Australia to see how ministers seek to provide political direction to the bureaucracy. He examines the extent to which they succeed and how their direction is both influenced by and acted on by the departments. Dunn's analysis provides a rare look at high-level relationships between politicians and executive departments in one democratic government and offers insights into issues of accountability and responsibility in democratic governments. His findings, based on his in-depth look at a government that blends many features of both U.S. and British governments, reveal the fundamentals that are necessary to make this key relationship work well and are thus pertinent to public administration in all democracies.

208 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

August, 1997

isbn : 9780822956501

about the author

Delmer Dunn

Delmer Dunn is Vice President for Instruction & Regents Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Georgia.

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Delmer Dunn