Everyone who aspires to more effective public service should read this book. It provides a compelling antidote to the managerial focus of theory and practice in public administration. Written with the aim of inspiring and rekindling a mission for public service, Transformational Public Service weaves together theory and stories from actual practice to show that public service can (and does) advance the goals of democracy, inclusiveness, and social and economic justice. Eight practitioners from government and non-governmental organizations at all levels - from the street to the executive office - tell their personal stories of transformational public service. Theory, poetry, and popular culture references are woven around the stories. Both students and practitioners will discover new ways of thinking in this book that will enable them to transform their own administrative practices. As the authors note in their prologue: "As we listened to these stories, we heard people say that public service can be and is transformational (transforms institutions, practices, and people's lives and experiences) in ways that serve democracy, engagement, and social and economic justice. The public service they practice is collaborative, humanistic, emancipatory, inclusive, and diverse."
Prologue: Wide A wake and Dreaming; Comment: Setting the Stage; Section I. Citizenship and Governance; Story: Transforming Citizenship, Greg Coleridge; Comment: Citizenship and Governance in 21st Century America; Story: Transforming Citizenship and Governance, Claire Mostel; Section II. Theory and Practice; Story: Informed Practice and Practice Informed Theory, Evelyn Brom & Shelia Hargesheimer; Comment: Theory and Practice; Story: Critical Theory in Action, Gary de la Rosa; Section III. Transforming Institutions; Story: Transforming Bureaucracy, Douglas MacDonald; Comment: Transforming Institutions; Story: Transforming Institutions: Insider/Outsider, Joseph Gray; Section IV. Transforming People; Comment: To Be of Use; Story: Doing What It Takes to Be of Use, Randy Scott; Comment: Making Meaning; Doing Your Own Work; Epilogue: Transformational Public Service in the Public Interest