The Politics of Neutrality and the Changing Role of Expertise in Public Administration

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This article explores and discusses the ongoing attempt to reinstate an ethos of neutrality in public administration. It focuses on the political benefits and costs of contemporary strategies in public administration for using expertise based on an ethos of neutrality. On the one hand, expertise may serve to allow a particular form of value neutrality that curbs abuse of political office, questions received wisdom on the efficacy of policy interventions, and thereby holds the potential to minimize the waste of public resources employed to meet political goals. On the other hand, the use of expertise as a mode of supporting neutrality is also problematic inasmuch as it may serve to endorse a politics of necessity and, unwittingly, reduce the scope of political agency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdministrative Theory & Praxis
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)174-187
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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