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Comments on “Strategies for Governing”

Comment from Donald Kettl of the LBJ School of Public Affairs on Strategies for Governing (Cornell University Press, December 2019):  “Alasdair Roberts is one of the most thoughtful scholars working in public administration today, and Strategies for Governing is an important and challenging book. It will be an instant classic—a must-read for established researchers and budding scholars.”

Mary Guy of the University of Colorado-Denver: “Just in time, Alasdair Roberts makes a provocative argument urging public administration to return to basics! Strategies for Governing rediscovers the field’s roots and describes a conceptual and practical route back to relevance in public life.”

Evert Lindquist, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria: “Written before the COVID-19 epidemic struck, Alasdair Roberts’ Strategies for Governing is a remarkable book for these disconcerting times. Roberts calls for reinvigoration of public administration research and debate about the overall priorities and structure of our public administration systems, arguing that scholars have focused too much on specific public management challenges over the last thirty years. Like the progenitors of the scholarly field of public administration, he asks us to think about designing macro governing strategies for the grand challenges we will face over the next decade and beyond.”

Richard Callahan, University of San Francisco: “Strategies for Governing engages the readers in the big questions of the practice and study of public administration, breaking new ground in connecting strategy with governance.  Roberts crafts a compelling argument for connecting public administration to its founding values and questions as a way of moving forward in this century.”

“Roberts succinctly makes a timely case in favor of large concerns about governing . . . While dealing with currently urgent realities of the field, the analysis makes a contribution to last.” —  American Review of Public Administration, June 2020.

“Roberts is masterful at distilling complex concepts into a digestible format, through which both new students and senior scholars can engage and argue.  The book provides an opportunity to have a critical conversation about the boundaries of Public Administration.” — Governance, July 2020.

“Overall, Strategies for Governing has broad implications for research, teaching, and practice in a variety of disciplines and subfields. The books insights provide readers with fresh perspectives on important research questions in public administration, public policy, American politics, international relations, and comparative politics. Perhaps most notably, Roberts encourages us to return to first principles and to address the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of government.” — Perspectives on Politics, August 2020.

“[Roberts] has nudged us in the right direction to reawaken why public administration . . .  is a field uniquely situated to link theory and practice at a macro-societal level . . . On that point alone, we all owe Roberts a great intellectual debt.” — Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, October 2020.

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