This is the first major theoretical advance in studies of justice since Walzer. Public Administration has been almost exclusively a field for professionals, its academic component concerned with such empirical matters as training practitioners, evaluating models, and assembling a body of evidence within which to test assumptions. The growth of theoretical examinations of the field itself has been a relatively recent development. "Justice and Public Administration" is an ambitious effort to grapple with justice as a theoretical component of the practice of public administration, yet with sufficient theoretical power to be meaningful in philosophy, political studies, and sociology. The time is ripe for such an effort, as the questions that gather under the labels of modernity, the postmodern, and critical theory now transcend a single discipline. The work of John Rawls on justice in public life has had a generation of influence on scholarship, and this work seems to have a high degree of likelihood of making meaningful statements on these questions in the field.
Charles F. Abel is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Steven F. Austin State University. He is the coauthor of In Defense of Political Trials and Punishment and Restitution: A Restitutionary Approach to Crime and the Criminal, and Dependency Theory and the Return of High Politics. Arthur J. Sementelli teaches at the School of Public Administration at Florida Atlantic University and is coauthor of Evolutionary Critical Theory and its Role in Public Affairs.
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