Budgeting and Governing

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Transaction Publishers - Business & Economics - 371 pages
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Aaron Wildavsky's greatest concern, as expressed in his writings, is how people manage to live together. This concern may at first appear to have little to do with the study of budgeting, but for Wildavsky budgeting made living together possible. Indeed, as he argues here, if you cannot budget, you cannot govern. Budgeting and Governing gathers in one place a mass of material that otherwise would be lost in a wilderness of journals and edited volumes. With few exceptions, Wildavsky chose the articles in this collection. They are organized largely chronologically so that the reader can trace the progression of his thought which moved from studies of the American federal government, through comparative work, and on to placing budgeting within a broader theory of political culture. Wildavsky wrote about budgeting because in his words, "when a process involves power, authority, culture, consensus, and conflict, it captures a great deal of national political life." Wildavsky was interested in budgeting because of what it could tell us about the classic questions of politics: who gets what, how, and why? His earlier analyses focus narrowly on budgeting personnel and agency actors in answering these questions, while in his later work the contending actors become sub-cultural types. To Wildavsky politics was about finding terms for living together in spite of ideological differences. Budgetary incrementalism helped to manage this otherwise unmanageable task. He thought synoptic budgeting and all related reforms would increase disagreement and raise the stakes, and so were unwise. Analysis had to serve politics, not try to displace it. Aaron Wildavsky is considered one of the most innovative and prolific scholars in the field of political research in our time. He was the author most recently of Culture and Social Theory and Federalism and Political Culture, as well as Dilemmas of Presidential Leadership (with Richard Ellis), The Beleaguered Presidency, and Craftways: On the Organization of Scholarly Work, all available from Transaction. Brendon Swedlow is a visiting processor in the political science department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Joseph White is an associate professor in the Department of Health Systems Management at Tulane University Medical Center.

"...this collection of essays is to show the development of the late Wildavsky's ideas on budgeting from the beginning of his career to the end....Recommended for research libraries and gradute students in public administration."-Choice

"Brendow Swedloe and Transaction Press have rendered policy scholars, budget specialists, and public managers a tremendous service by pulling together this posthumous collection of Aaron Wildavsky's writings on the vital, it often politically tense, relationship between budgeting and governing."--Journal of Policy Analysis and Management


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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This book wasn't quite what I expected. First of all it's a collection of various papers that aren't linked together in any meaningful way. Some longer passages have even been copied directly from one ... Read full review


A Budget for All Seasons? Why the Traditional Budget Lasts
The Political Economy of Efficiency CostBenefit Analysis Systems Analysis and Program Budgeting
Rescuing Policy Analysis
Toward a Radical Incrementalism
The Annual Expenditure Increment
Budgetary Reform in an Age of Big Government
Equality Spending Limits and the Growth of Government
Toward a Comparative Theory of Budgetary Processes
The Transformation of Budgetary Norms
A Cultural Theory of Expenditure Growth and UnBalanced Budgets
The Budget as New Social Contract
On the Balance of Budgetary Cultures
Securing Budgetary Convergence Within the European Community
If You Cant Budget How Can You Govern?

Prologue to Planning and Budgeting in Poor Countries
The Movement toward Spending Limits in American and Canadian Budgeting

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