Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Effective Public Service Delivery in Latin America: Can it be done at the Local Level?

Local governments in Latin America are perceived to have low levels of autonomy, fiscal capacity and human resources, which apparently makes it difficult for them to deliver public services effectively and efficiently (Campbell 2003, Tulchin and Selee 2004). 

Yet increase devolution of authority has increased their necessity to effectively deliver public services. Countries in the region started to decentralize by entrusting state functions, like implementing social policies, managing local budgets and contracting out public services, to local governments in the early 1980s (Montero and Samuels 2004). 

This was coupled with various democratization movements throughout the same period, local elections became prevalent (Gibson 2004, Tulchin and Selee 2004). Increasingly, local governments have become a unit of analysis for research in the region, just as many academics have separated the decentralization movement into political, administrative and fiscal reforms (Falleti 2005, Tulchin and Selee 2004). 

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the capacity of local governments in Latin America to implement public policies and distribute public goods. It seeks to answer the following questions: What is the relationship between decentralization and its local public budgets? Are more fiscally autonomous cities in Latin America better able to promote better public policies? How are cities paying for their local public services? 

The research uses a mixed methodology to explore how cities make decisions to innovate, develop and finance public services. First, this study will provide a comparative analysis of decentralization policies in Argentina and Mexico as a means to gain a better understanding of the degree of autonomy exercised by local governments. Next, it will examine the budgets and fiscal capacity of cities within Argentina—Santa Fe, Rosario, and Rafaela—and Mexico—Leon, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. Specific attention will be paid to each city’s efforts at collecting taxes and paying for public services. 

Finally, this research will also use statistical data gathered from Latin American municipal associations to test whether cities which report being more fiscally autonomous (measured by the collection of more own-source revenue) are better able to effectively deliver public services.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali

Successful Citizen Security Initiatives in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali,
Colombia:  Are They Sustainable and Replicable?

Thursday, November 29, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sixth Floor Board Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.

Improvements in citizen security in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali, Colombia have been widely celebrated and these cities have become models of “best practices” for combating crime and violence in urban areas worldwide.  What explains these success stories and why have there been some setbacks?  A distinguished group of analysts and practitioners will identify the key policy initiatives undertaken at the municipal and national level in order to assess the sustainability of security gains and whether they are replicable in other settings.

9:00-9:15 a.m.:  Introductory Remarks                                     
          Cynthia J. Arnson, Director, Latin American Program

9:15 – 11:00 a.m.: Panel I – What Has Happened and Why?

          Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero, Mayor of Cali
          Jorge Giraldo Ramírez, Universidad  EAFIT, Medellín
          Ariel Ávila, Corporación Arco Iris, Bogotá

11:15 – 1:00 p.m.: Panel II – Cross-Cutting Views: Lessons Learned, Sustainability, and Replicability

          Aldo Civico, Rutgers University
          Nathalie Alvarado, Inter-American Development Bank
          María Victoria Llorente, Fundación Ideas para la Paz

We hope you can join us for this critical discussion.  Please click here to RSVP or email, acceptances only, to lap@wilsoncenter.org.

Cynthia J. Arnson
Director, Latin American Program

Latin American Tax Reserach Centers

Revenue Statistics in Latin America aims to provide internationally comparable data on tax levels and tax structures for a selection of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Using the same methodology as the OECD Revenue Statistics database, this publication presents cross-country comparisons between LAC economies, and, between LAC and OECD economies. This work is part of the OECD LAC Fiscal Initiative, which aims to improve taxation and public expenditure policies to support stronger economic growth and fairer income distribution. This publication has been financially supported by the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) and the Fundación Internacional para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas (FIIAPP). For more information on Revenue Statistics in Latin America and the LAC Fiscal Initiative please consult www.latameconomy.org/en/fiscal-policy/revenue-statistics and www.oecd.org/tax/lacfiscal

The Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT)
CIAT (www.ciat.org) is an international public organization with a non-profit aim, which promotes international cooperation and the exchange of experiences and information related to tax administrations. It also delivers technical assistance services, studies and training. It was founded in 1967 as an initiative of American countries to serve as a permanent forum to address the issues and concerns of tax administrators. Currently CIAT has 39 member countries and associate member countries from 4 continents: 31 countries of the Americas, 5 European countries, 2 African countries and 1 Asian country.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
ECLAC (www.cepal.org) is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. Its headquarters are in Santiago, Chile. ECLAC contributes to the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean through regional and sub-regional cooperation. Its objective is to integrate; gather, organize, interpret and disseminate information and data relating to the economic and social development of the region and provide advisory services to Governments at their request.

The OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
The Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) (www.oecd.org/tax) is the focal point for the OECD’s work on taxation. The Centre provides technical expertise and support to the Committee on Fiscal Affairs and examines all aspects of taxation other than macro-fiscal policy. Its work covers international and domestic tax issues, direct and indirect taxes, tax policy and tax administration. CTPA also carries out an extensive global programme of dialogue between OECD and developing country tax officials through events held annually on the full range of OECD tax work, bringing together almost 100 non-OECD economies.

The OECD Development Centre
The Development Centre (www.oecd.org/dev) helps policy makers in OECD and partner countries find innovative solutions to the global challenges of development and poverty alleviation. It is a unique institution within the OECD and the international community, where the governments of Member and developing and emerging countries, enterprises and civil society organisations discuss questions of common interest informally.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Belly of an Architecture

November 6, 2012, 7:33 am

The Belly of an Architecture

BEIJING - Late last month, I attended the opening of the British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid's latest work, the Galaxy Soho. A gargantuan structure of white curved orbs connected by sky-bridges, it towered over the squat, Soviet-style buildings nearby - like a spaceship just landed in downtown Beijing.

Thousands of people had turned up to see the new structure unveiled. They swarmed three floors of indoor balconies, straining to catch a glimpse of Hadid giving a talk in an inner courtyard below. Despite the crush, the atmosphere was giddy.

The people of Beijing seem excited about how their city is being shaped. And so they should be. Architecture in China today is bold and unapologetic.

But it embodies China's rapid growth in less positive ways, too. Although the industry is buoyant these days, its long-term benefits for the people who live here are questionable. Too often, form trumps function.

The creative space given to architects in Beijing - despite complaints that too many are foreign - offers a welcome distraction to the ambient ugliness. Beijing is seeped in gray, and notable for vast boulevards and imposing squares, clogged ring roads and the drab tower blocks that line them. Until recently, relief from this bleakness could be found mainly in remarkable imperial sights, the historic hutongs - of which a tiny percentage are now left - and a handful of funky areas like 798 Art Zone, a former factory area that was converted into an art district beginning in the late 1990s.

Since Beijing won the bid to host the Olympic Games in 2008 construction has been rabid. But if impressive new buildings are improving the city's look, the real gems are few and far between. Concerns about visual context are less pressing here than in much of the United States or Europe. Ultimately, Beijing's skyline is being shaped by politics more than anything, leading to poor urban planning and questionable construction standards.

Many buildings created to inspire awe stand on huge, inhuman streets - themselves designed for cars rather than people - behind menacing gated squares. Iconic buildings, including those designed for the 2008 Olympics, have scant regard for the individual. The iconic "Egg," or National Center for the Performing Arts, is a gorgeous dome completely surrounded - and shielded - by a pool of water.

Poor construction - a byproduct of fast development, corruption and unskilled migrant laborers - also is a stain on Beijing architecture. Last summer, a large panel toppled from the sheer glass front of the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, the state-owned institution responsible for large-scale public design; it remained unfixed for months.

Or take Sanlitun Soho, a project opened in 2010 by SOHO China Limited, Beijing's largest real-estate developer and the company behind the new Hadid building. Designed by the renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, Sanlitun Soho's five shopping malls and nine office and apartment buildings cluster around an outdoor waterscaped courtyard. The complex is intimidating. Its commercial space is largely empty, thanks to a glut of malls elsewhere in Beijing. In winter, racing winds howl through the courtyard. Some finishings are already scuffed from lack of upkeep, giving the development a desolate feel.

Last month, just as I walked out of the Galaxy Soho after the glitzy opening, I stepped into a mega traffic jam on the 2nd ring road. However smooth and white the building's interior, the world outside remains noisy and chaotic.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Mars and taxes

Mars and taxes

By Matt Miller, Published: August 8

“The rover ushers in a new era of exploration that could turn up evidence that the Red Planet once had the necessary ingredients for life — or might even still harbor life today.” — the New York Times, Aug. 6.

(A subterranean classroom on Mars. Life forms appear humanoid except for much larger brains. All wear white garments that look like silk nightgowns. Students gab before their professor shows up).

Student 1: This one seems bigger.

Student 2: Pretty fancy landing.

Student 3: But it still doesn’t know we’re here, right.

S1: It scoops soil. It can’t detect underground cities. They’re still pretty primitive . . .
(Snickers and nods all around. Professor enters.)

P: All right, gentlemartians. Enough about the rover. Welcome to Advanced Topics in Earthling Political Economy. If that’s not the seminar you signed up for, now would be a good time to leave. Has everyone done the reading for our first class?

S1: Yes, mentor, but something is wrong. The earthlings at the — (looks down at paper) — “Tax Policy Center” obviously can’t do simple mathematics.

S2: He’s right, mentor, it makes no sense.

P: Why do you say that?

S1: Because their new report finds that the Republican primate Mitt Romney wants to cut taxes on wealthy Americans and raise them on everyone else.

P: Now, remember, colleagues, what’s the first rule you learned last year in analyzing earthling political behavior? The one thing you must never forget?
All students (in unison): “Never assume fairness or reason.”

P: Exactly!

S2: But, mentor, even granting this principle, there must be some practical limit.

S3: It’s true, mentor — or the judgment we would have to render is harsh.
P: Explain.

S1: Well, we collected data, as you suggested. The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

S2: Half the jobs in America pay under $34,000 a year.

S3: One hundred million Americans have incomes of less than twice their poverty line. That’s $38,000 for a family of three.

S1: Forty-four percent lack savings or a pension to meet basic retirement expenses.

S2: Nearly half of all Americans say they’d have a hard time coming up with $2,000 in 30 days if an emergency arose.

S3: So to propose, in the face of these facts, to tilt the distribution of income even more toward the top would be . . .

P: What?

S3: Well, it would be illogical, mentor.

P: Republican primates care nothing for logic!

S1: It’s immoral, mentor. Even by Earth’s standards.

P: Republican primates care nothing for morality! If they did, they wouldn’t have cut taxes repeatedly for rich people during a decade of war! Stop thinking like a Martian and put yourselves in their shoes.

S2: But it also seems pathological. Not to mention self-defeating. Because squeezing the masses should eventually produce a violent reaction.

P: Ah ha! Self-preservation! Now we’re getting somewhere. Who can explain why the Republican primates might overreach to the point of risking violent backlash?

S1: I’ve wondered the same thing, mentor.

S2: Yes, mentor — what’s the matter with Kansas? (Giggles erupt around the room).

P: I see you’ve been reading ahead! The truth, gentlemartians, is that Kansas is frightened.
And numb. That’s what the Republican primates have figured out. And the Democratic primates are too witless to rouse them. In a global economy, Republican primates know that a billion poor souls across the planet would give anything to be America’s “working poor.” That’s why their de facto slogan is so, well, neanderthal. You’re lucky to be in America! You’re lucky to have a job! You’re lucky to have the emergency room!

S1: It’s shocking, mentor. For a quote-unquote “advanced nation.” But it seems to work.

P1: We know, of course, from our own history that primitive civilizations pass through such a phase. As humans evolve, these patterns will eventually be transcended. But not until progressive primates muster more convincing arguments and bolder ideas. Until then, they’ll anesthetize the population with Gabby the Flying Squirrel and . . . (winking his middle eye) Mars rover landings . . .

S2: These humans are so easily manipulated. Will there ever be intelligent life on Earth?

P: An excellent question to ponder until we meet next week!

S1: One last thing, mentor.

P: Yes?

S1: Who will the earthling Romney pick for VP?

P: I’m betting Rubio. These Republican primates may be perverse. But they play to win.
Matt Miller, a co-host of public radio’s “Left, Right & Center,” writes a weekly online column for The Post. His e-mail address is mattino2@gmail.com.

USG and Urbanization....

Urbanization, City Planning, Global Health and Economic Development: How these Policies Affect Local Governments
by Heidi Smith

The new office of Special Representative of Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department, which reports directly to Secretary Clinton, works to engage State and Local leaders across the globe as they are critical actors in the governance processes. Work done today, focusing on management and technical roles for local governments, is key to successful implication of international public policy and also helps lead to stronger national governments and economies. Simply put, our goal is to see more efficient and effective local governments.

Truthful community discussions about city priorities and gentrification will lead to more promising economic development. Clear understanding and knowing of what cities do and how they are run, may help create healthy relationships between different levels of government. The US applauds Latin America in its work towards participatory planning and budgeting. This innovation comes from Curitiba where the HUD Sec. Shaun Donavon visited to learn about these experiences and replicate them back home in the US.

Furthermore, one specific example of how local governments play a necessary role to encourage economic development is in housing sector. Financial inclusion and the promotion of low income housing finance for the poor are top priorities to President Obama. We look forward to working with interested governments to help expand access to affordable housing.

We believe the US government, with Sec. Donavon’s renewed efforts at focusing HUD into a new generation New-Federalism, can help ensure affordable housing is assessable to everyone by sharing lessons learned in the housing finance sector. This is just one area where we can work to strengthen our international presence.

A Call for Wilsonian Reform in Latin America

A Call for Wilsonian Reform in Latin America: Public administration as a reference for implementation of the Summit of the Americas agreements

ABSTRACT This paper is a theoretical and historical view of the field of American public administration. It describes how researchers have evaluated the governmental structures; sought after the implementation of efficient and equitable public policies; and inquired about the most effective political-administrative dichotomy. The study of Public Administration is the search for the best way to run public institutions. As an applied political science, this paper will call into question the promotion of democratic practices and ask: Who in Latin America is studying public administration?

Why does the United Sates have a strong democratic government? Is it that the US has a stronger constitution than Latin American governments? Maybe in the US the political parties are less corrupt? Or does the US government have fewer predispositions about influences citizen lives? Even more frequently cited is America’s strong “democratic culture” vs. the weak ones in Latin America. If one reads the newspapers or follows American politics, there is frequent reference to possible legislators corruption, with campaign finance reform always a hot topics to solve the “party problems.” Additionally, gerrymandering still lives on to this day; with frequent redistricting requests proposed by congress for “preventive measures.” The Supreme Court reviews hundreds of cases each year to investigate for plausible constitutional reform. The Americas Civil Liberties Union, a watchdog to ensure that the government does not invade people privacy, receives handfuls of complaints of possible constitutional violations each year. Equally disturbing, Americans are some of the poorest to participate in the political system, with voter turn out typically below fifty percent. And now social scientists have determined that Americans are “bowling alone.” Without social groups to volunteer with, there are declining levels of social capital. So why does the US government work at all? 
Maybe theorists should look at the field of public administration for answers. Too often political scientists analyze constitutional reforms, political parties or state-society relations, civil society, or social capital bonding as rational for why Latin American governments don’t work. But few researchers evaluate the governmental structure; it’s ability to implement efficient and equitable public policies; or it’s effective political-administrative dichotomy. The study of Public Administration is the search for the best way to run public institutions. It is applied political science. Who in Latin America is studying public administration? It can be argued that there has not been a true Wilsonian governmental reform in Latin America. This essay will define the history of US public administration as a subfield of political science, provide its significant heritage, and will argue that Latin America needs a Wilsonian transformation in order to modernize their government structures and systems.
Traditional study of American public administration is consistent with US history. Major tenets within the field follow along with events in American history. Although recently several postmodernist scholars, namely Camilla Stivers, Charles Fox and Hugh Miller, have called into question whose history is correct, suggesting that the relativity of truth is in the eye of the beholder—a topic, which will be treated and applied later in the essay. Frequently referenced in the traditional American literature is the field of American public administration began in the progressive era, a period of reforms in the US lasting from the 1890s through the 1920s, and with former President Woodrow Wilson’s foundational essay.
Wilson wrote “The Study of Administration” in 1887, before he was president, as a response to the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.  This federal law established the merit base system for bureaucrats, eliminating nepotisms in public agencies. Wilson’s essay, which was discovered years after it was written, argues for the separation of politics from administration. He argues that public administration should take a business like approach performing its work to be more appropriate, efficient and cost effective. This is the first positivist view of how to analyze public problems. It uses a scientific formula and business, models applying managerial techniques, to organize public structures. In this essay, Wilson is quoted for saying “it is getting harder to run a constitution than to frame one.” Wilson is arguably called the father of American Public Administration.
Approximately when Wilson’s essay was found, several people used it to professionalize the field of public administration. With a strong argument to better manage government, New York’s citizens began a movement to improve local governments to be more responsible to communities. Namely in this group included academics like Larry Gulick, Frank Goodnow and Leonard White. They were unhappy with the way New York City and other New England towns were managing its finances and providing public services. The New York group set up the Bureau of Municipal Research to study how the government was using city resources.
The Bureau Men, as Stivers later coined them, not only created an independent government watchdog, they also envisioned training future bureaucrats to manage city governments, budget and policies. For example the first of such was when the New York Bureau of Municipal Research opened its training school for public service with a small class in 1911. Students, primarily men, had diverse backgrounds in business, government and the social services. The hope was to convert the students into professional bureaucrats with classes in business, finances, organizational design and management. Furthermore, they also engaged philanthropists like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to start professional schools of PA. With this financing, these entrepreneurs organized the National Institute of Pubic Administration (NIPA) incorporated in April 1921 and soon certified additional training schools of pubic services.
Various schools popped up to advocate for the scientific management of public institutions. For example, the Maxwell School in Syracuse, New York; Harvard’s School of Government in Boston; also programs were later developed at Yale in Connecticut and Columbia in New York City. The University of Chicago set up a school in the 1920s to include both public administration and social work. In the quest for teaching scientific based management and analysis, the school’s founders also had a personal dedication, to the students and professors. The founders vision for a better American society lead their pursuits to build more schools. Their mission was to establish PA schools in order to analyze government’s work and make it work better for the American society as a whole.
While the practical teaching took off, theorists questioned various assumptions of what to teach the students. Of particular importance was the scientific-positivist approach of management described by Fredrick W. Taylor in his essay “Scientific Management.” Taylor felt that the best management is like science in that “it rests upon clearly defined laws, rules and principles.” He suggested methods to make workers more productive and provided a framework for future positivist work. Additionally to this movement, Henry Ford’s model of processing widgets and assembling cars over a conveyer belt was used to describe the quest for efficiency in production.
Adding to the efficiency literature, political scientist Larry Gulick theorized how to provide government services more effectively. His suggested that a strict division of labor and the coordination of workers in an organization could make it more efficient. He suggested chief executives follow his POSDCCORB typology, which stands for Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting. He taught at Columbia University and was a staff member of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research (later renamed to NIPA).
Political scientist Leonard White furthered Wilson’s discussion of the political and administrative dichotomy, by adding that management should adjust to America’s federalist state and its organizational structure.  For example the centralized power—moving from the local, to the state, and the national level of government, should have a powerful executive—or the mayor at the local level, governor at the state, and the president at the national level. He argued that administration is the heart of the modern government, and you must have a strong executive to weave through its politics. For him, politics is inherently managed by the administration and vice versa. White argued that on the political side, it is important to design the best governmental institutions. This further analysis of the politics-administration dichotomy (White 1926) of the US presidents furthered the field. Interestingly White was not only an academic, but also worked as an advisory for the federal government. After working in the (three) administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, White left the federal government to serve as a professor at the University of Chicago. 

Another influential professor in the quest for administrative-political dichotomy was Frank J. Goodnow. He also inspired the Bureau’s municipal research agenda. In his essay “Politics and Administration” written in 1900, he attempted to give different roles and purposes to government’s administrative and political sides. Goodnow argued that the administrative side dealt with the implementation and the processes, while the political side focused on creating the institutions that formulate, adopt, and implement policies. But again each side influenced each other, reinforcing the others actions. Goodnow was president of John Hopkins University, advisor to the Roosevelt and Taft administrations and taught at Amherst on both public administration and administrative law.
Around the same time Jane Adams organized the Hull House in Chicago. With the central mission to provide social and educational opportunities for working class people (including many recent immigrants) in the surrounding neighborhoods, several hundred of these homes were established throughout the US in the 1920s. This social service provision was one of the first of its kinds. The houses are remembered as a large asset to in the development of the US, assisting many new immigrants to settle into American communities. Adams, although only recently recognized for her PA work related to public administration, advanced the field of social policy. She used social evaluations of her residents and neighbors to better define the type of care they needed. One tangible outcome of Adams’ PA work was her cohort from the Hull House Julia Lathrop adopted Adams models as the chief of the US Children’s Bureau, a federal agency aiding families and children, in 1912.
The academic discussions between business and politics, efficiency and effectiveness and the importance of politics and management, continues even today. Another major theme in PA history is the study of the organization. Notable work in this area was by Paul Appleby, in his essay “Government Is Different” written in 1945. He suggested that the “public” part of public administration made it different than running a business. For him, this organizational animal was inherently different. Public decision-making processes are more pluralistic and not solely developed on standards of efficiency or profit maximization. Also, the public scrutinizes government outcomes more than business. Appleby describes the public-interest attitude that government official must have, intrinsically makes it less efficient than a private business and should be analyzed as such.
Additionally, Max Weber’s ideal hierarchical typology is used in the field of public administration to define organizational structural roles like leadership, management, and efficiency. For Weber, programs are clearly assigned by function. Organizational unit interact with formal relationships, interaction is typically in writing. There is little chaos or cross-fertilization of ideas in a bureaucracy. Instead an administrator’s work should be smooth and managed in an orderly fashion. Weber defines the hierarchy in “pure types,” which authority is divided into legal, traditional and charismatic. Ideal types and models allow academics a place of comparison, to describe how the real world actually works.
Furthermore, organizational structures are discussed in “ The American System,” written in 1966 by Morton Grodzins, and “Administrative Decentralization and Political Power,” written in 1969 by Herbert Kaufman. These essays argue that government must represent society, as a whole, and in doing so, have organizational issues. Grodzins suggests that functions overlap in government. He describes chaos found in the US government, with its mixture of powers from the various layers of local, state and national governments. Each layer has a separate propose and intent, which makes a “Marble Cake” affect in America—overlapping tensions and roles of government. Whereas the functions may overlap, this chaos defines the American system as a whole. Furthering this discussion, Kaufman calls for more decentralization and direct democracy, where citizen controls of local resources by participating in government agencies. He also advocates for the creation of an “Advisory Commission of Intergovernmental Relations,” which he suggest would assist local actors to navigate though federal agencies and programs in order to provide appropriate services to citizens.
These characteristics of the American system of government not only establishes the field of American public administration, but they also distinguish the US’s form of government from other nations. Each of the above theorists, academics and practitioners alike are concerned with producing better public policies, making government more efficient and creating a better society. In studying government, it furthers academics to push further in understanding why the US works as it does.
 In that same vein, Dwight Waldo is best known for his use of political theory and history to define the field of public administration, viewing past US presidents and how they administered the country as examples of PA. Although an advocate of administrative efficiency, Waldo warned the use of too much positivist and scientific approach to understand how government work is insufficient. In his writings of the 1950, he includes the art of maneuvering politics in the PA framework. Waldo’s criticism was instrumental to develop the separate new field of public management, which used more scientific proofs than PA.
Finally the last notable American scholar studying PA is Herbert Simon—the only political scientist ever awarded a Nobel Prize for his intellectual achievements. This professor from the University of Chicago, not only studied government and public administration, but also incorporated behavioral characteristics, problem solving, complex systems and system theory into his analysis of why governments work as they do. And the list continues as American public administrators and theorists originate and create an academic debate on how to make an effective political system.

Additional PA topics not addressed in this essay are many.  The work of “public” and ethics movement of government, public policy vs. public management, New Public Management and the efforts of reinventing government are all relevant in today’s society. Also academic have studied decision-making models, organizational culture and management, issues like taking orders, are among many other ideas theorist have used to define how to run the American government. But what is relevant, is that the US has a strong political culture to question authority, separate the political institution and create education institutions for further academic debate, suggest new ways to go about is public business. The development of the US is also associated with the development of its political institutions.  The US’s political heritage has evolved over time and will do so in to the future.
Postmodernists argue that it is important to recognize ones “history” and each “history” is told through the eye of the beholder. They question what our common history is and how was it derived. The “relativity” of perspective is important also in the field of PA. It can be argued that Latin America needs to develop its own public administration history in order to create a field for itself. It is not what the American’s have done, but what each country has developed for itself as how to manage its own state of affairs. The foundational wisdom of Woodrow Wilson in creating the first political-administration dichotomy is relevant for Latin America but only insomuch as it can develop its on country-by-country past for analyzing public institutions.
Recently, the International Committee of the US-based National Association of School of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) has decided to help this process along. It is assisting to develop the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE).[1] Created in 2000, this regional network of schools working in public administration and policy analysis in Latin America and the Caribbean has more than 25 members from top research schools in various countries throughout the hemisphere. Its mission is to develop the professional study of public administration and public policy outside of government control or management. Creating this political-administration dichotomy is the first step towards true administrative reform and state modernization efforts. Further creativity by academics, practitioners and researchers will need to use this field to model a better state for each country in Latin America.
Moreover, the Summits of the Americas is just another international agreement and event for presidents to come together and discuss top priorities of the day. Whether the governments are able to interpret the signed agreements and implement them on their own terms will depend on how they manage their own bureaucracies.  Americans must realize that each country must administer policies and political commitments on their own time and bureaucracies. Finally, above all else, the study of public administration has long been criticized for its tensions between science and art. The current new focus in the US is on New Public Management, which is just another push for more scientific approach to public policy, or positivism in the social sciences. But politics is an art and it must equally be studied. Therefore maybe the best way to define PA is that it’s a craft. If Latin American can take this craft and adopt it for its own, they will also have strong institutions to manage public issues.


Appleby, Paul (1945). Government Is Different

Goodnow, Frank J. (1900). Politics and Administration

Grodzins, Morton (1966). The American System

Gulick, Luther (1937). Notes on the Theory of Organization

Kaufman, Herbert (1969). Administrative Decentralization and Political Power

Simon, Herbert A. (1946). Proverbs of Administration

Stivers, Camilla (2000). Bureau Men, Settlement Women

Taylor, Fredrick W. (1912) Scientific Management

Weber, Max (1922). Bureaucracy

White, Leonard D (1926). Introduction to the Study of Public Administration

Wilson, Woodrow (1887). The Study of Administration

Waldo, Dwight (1948) The Administrative State: Conclusion

Registro de Revistas sobre Administración Pública, Gestión y Política Pública en Latinoamérica

Aqui esta un Registro de revistas que trabaja los temas de administración pública, gestión y política pública en Latinoamérica .  Falta ...