A Select Reading List
PPA JEDI Initiative
This page showcases selected works that speak to matters of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in public administration and public affairs. A more comprehensive and sortable catalog is available at the full Programs of Public Affairs JEDI Reading List, which can also be exported as a spreadsheet. This is a living list; we welcome any suggested additions via the following email address. University of Utah students, faculty, and staff may need to be logged into the Marriott Library system to access the articles' full texts. If you are a PPA alum or affiliate that needs help accessing the article, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of readings that "provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance." #Charlestonsyllabus was conceived by Chad Williams, Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. With the help of Kidada Williams, the hashtag started trending on Twitter on the evening of June 19, 2015. The list was compiled and organized by AAIHS blogger Keisha N. Blainwith the assistance of Melissa Morrone, Ryan P. Randall, and Cecily Walker.
Estaban Leonardo Santis (@ELeoSantis) curates an annotated Postcolonial Public Administration Syllabus made up of (in his words) "80+ readings to use as a springboard for postcolonial PA lessons, workshops, and classes." You can also read his response (on Twitter) to critiques of the term postcolonial.
As society and its needs became diverse, the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have been an increasingly important topic to public administration scholars and practitioners alike (Carrizales & Gaynor, 2013; Sabharwal et al., 2018). Numerous studies have suggested that DEI is essential not only to achieving better performance in Government (Frederickson, 1990, 2005; Hewins-Maroney & Williams, 2013; Pitts, 2009; Riccucci, 2002, 2009; Rosenbloom, 2005; Sabharwal, 2014; Sabharwal et al., 2018) but also to achieving just and equitable government and society (Broadnax, 2010)...Race or ethnicity of undefined colors, especially Asian Americans, has been underrepresented continuously within the DEI discourse in public administration research and practice.
There is an overlooked chapter in the history of American public administration: the experiment with colonial administration in the two decades following the Spanish-American War. Several scholars now identified as pioneers of American public administration were actively engaged in this project. They studied European empires closely to determine how the new American dependencies should be governed. This work was guided by beliefs about racial superiority and the duty of civilized nations to improve uncivilized peoples through colonization. This episode of administrative history provides insight into how American academics thought about race and public administration in the early decades of the twentieth century, both overseas and within the United States. It compels a reassessment of our understandings about their commitment to democracy, and about the supposed differences between American and European public administration at that time.
How is public administration theory responsible for governmental successes and failures in natural disaster response? By using postcolonial theory to name the post-Katrina cultural rebirth in Louisiana as colonialist administration, we can see how public administration theory is implicated in the need to stifle colonialist actions. In turn, we can start to assess how culture in Louisiana is currently being framed by the state. The potential for cultural dissolution, rebirth, or maintenance of the status quo arguably rests within the weathered hands of public administrators and theorists. The grounding purpose of this inquiry is to: (a) propose an interdisciplinary discursive space for postcolonialism in public administration theory and practice, and (b) examine the intersections of colonialism and the state at the juncture of responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
There is a unanimous agreement among scholars that social equity scholarship is essential to the study of public administration. One area of weakness in the social equity literature is its inability to develop a theoretical understanding of the complexities of race, gender, and ethnicity. This viewpoint addresses the call of Pandey, Bearfield, and Hall (2022), arguing “concept of race in public administration remains woefully undertheorized” by exploring key tenets of Postcolonial theory. Postcolonial theory can bolster social equity literature by providing a much-needed theoretical framework to systematically understand the marginalization and subordination of people of color for centuries through representation, production of knowledge, and power. Postcolonial theory also challenges the portrayal of all non-White minorities as one collective hegemonic identity and, therefore, can provide a sound theoretical grounding to social equity scholarship.
Recent public administration scholarship has been challenging the unresponsiveness of leaders due to their unethical and inequitable practices. To address this challenge, this article presents an administrative critical consciousness (ACC) framework to purposefully identify and address societal oppressions. ACC derives from Paulo Freire’s critical consciousness and focuses on the ability for individuals to identify and act against an oppressive regime. ACC is a conceptual lens for leaders to acknowledge and intentionally dismantle the longstanding inequities manifested in their institutions and organizations. The authors explore the relationship between engagement, empathy, ethics, and equity in ACC. When administrators utilize an ACC perspective they essentially become more engaged and empathetic, optimistically resulting in more ethical and equitable practices within society. Lastly, the authors describe how ACC occurs when administrators engage in critical consciousness to support and implement transformative action.
This article argues for the inclusion of critical perspectives in public administration curricula to explore the historical and contemporary processes that contribute to disparity and injustice. The counternarratives examined in the article include social construction, inclusive feminism, critical urban planning, and democratic cultural pluralism. Critical perspectives or counternarratives are presented as challenges to hegemonic scripts that will aid in creating a workforce that is not only equipped to operate within a global society but understands the economic and social context that operationalize “others” in society.
Six years have passed since ATP published a two-part symposium on critical approaches to understanding nonprofits, volunteerism, and philanthropy in 2013. During that time, critical takes on nongovernmental organizations and their collective work have grown and become more accepted in mainstream circles. For instance, Edgar Villanueva’s (2018) analysis of the systemic oppression wrought by philanthropy’s pseudocolonial structures and David Callahan’s (2017) and Anand Giriharadas’s (2018) critiques of elite donors and their power to define social change on their own terms have been widely read, a development perhaps unthinkable in the recent past. Likewise, the Ford Foundation’s (see Walker, 2015) recent move to dedicate its substantial resources toward funding solutions to the oppressive systems that create many of the social problems that nongovernmental organizations have sought to address over time (many might say unsuccessfully) seems to indicate a shift in thinking about the nature of social change to a more critical vantage point.
Within higher education, there is mounting pressure for increased discussions of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Although these topics are particularly relevant to nonprofit management education (NME), instructors have expressed uncertainty about how they should proceed in incorporating these topics into their courses. Here, we argue a critical pedagogy framework can support instructors to address effectively topics of diversity, inclusion, and social justice within their classes. We identify three different but complementary critical pedagogical strategies that NME instructors can adopt in order to do so. We also provide resources for instructors and conclude with suggestions for future research.
Our fundamental understandings and treatments of gender and gender identity within the United States are evolving. Recently, a few countries and several U.S. states have moved away from the binary categories of male and female to include a non-binary gender option for official state documents. This third, gender-neutral option, is usually represented as “X” where “M” for male and “F” for female traditionally appeared. The purpose of this study is twofold; first, to utilize Iris Marion Young’s theory of oppression to help contextualize the historical oppression of non-binary gender identity recognition by the State, and second, to analyze recent efforts by U.S. states to include non-binary gender categories. Using Young’s theory for normative explanation along with the Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) practical recommendations, we present a simple administrative framework for comparing proposed, adopted, and enacted non-binary gender policies across the United States. Tying each OSF best practice to one of Young’s faces of oppression, we are able to assess each law or policies’ effectiveness in dismantling the oppressive binary constructs of society.
Equity issues persist in defining public sector women as in need of accommodation, including during times of child-rearing or caregiving. The authors argue instead that viewing the fullness of a woman's existence should empower others to see broad life experiences as a benefit to be fostered. Public service organizations and the academy should build policies and systems that recognize this value and work to cultivate, rather than accommodate. While women have historically taken the turtle approach—that is, keep your head down—the #MeToo movement has morphed women into strong bison, standing shoulder to shoulder. The authors advocate for more inclusive and supportive mentoring relationships to move into a new era—the pigeon era. In public administration, this manifests as providing holistic support and intentional mentorships throughout the arc of women's careers and institutional policy changes that support the unique value of women in the public sector and the academy.
Studying gendered norms, practices, and processes represents the future of research on gender in public management, not tracking numbers over time. Gendered norms are rules governing behaviour that are institutionalized in organizational practices and processes, and are produced and reproduced through repeated interpersonal interactions. Theories of gendered norms have been developed in sociology, but it must be public administrationists who refine them for public-sector organizations, because the government context is unique, and equity is the third pillar upon which public administration rests. We conclude with a discussion of research projects taking a gendered-organizations approach and propose topics for further inquiry.
Female faculty members in public service programs take on a disproportionate amount of advising and mentoring responsibilities yet are less likely to be in leadership positions at universities. Women in the discipline may have additional responsibilities in mentoring not only their students, but also other faculty, advocating for social and/or gender equity through service and teaching commitments, and upholding public service values, which may come at the expense of career advancement. Using data collected from a survey of male and female faculty in public service, we find significant gender differences in perceptions of their professional experiences. Based on these gender differences, we discuss four invisible challenges that are common to women in public service academic departments. We conclude that perceived gender differences in faculty responsibilities and experiences may impact individuals’ professional experiences related to job satisfaction, advancement, and promotion.
Weber’s ideal-type bureaucracy demands impersonalism premised on assumptions regarding egalitarianism and polity scale, explaining why it is able to excel with large-scale population policymaking. Transport, national infrastructure, taxation, and defense are classic success examples of what is called the actions of government that are done “to” and “for” the polity. However, government fails in important areas of action done “with” citizens and communities, such as health, education, and justice, which do not fit one-size-fits-all approaches. Calls to personalize policy delivery chafe at Weberian bureaucracy and inevitably will do so until form change is recognized as necessary. One way forward may be found in Indigenous worldviews and clan governance concepts of relationality. This article uses William Ouchi's organizational form arguments that privilege clans alongside markets and hierarchies, as well as illustrative examples of Indigenous public service leadership, to propose a new conceptual approach—complementary bureaucracy—to demonstrate clan approaches that provide rich practical and theoretical opportunities to engage in bureaucratic personalism. Taking the best of impersonalism and relationality helps meet modern societal needs, building off the wisdom of governance practices that have served this planet’s oldest enduring civilizations.
Indigenous communities have historically been some of the most researched communities around the globe. But much of this research has caused great harm to Indigenous peoples. In response to these harmful and abusive research practices, Indigenous leaders and scholars have envisioned new research principles, practices, methodologies, and policies that center Indigenous peoples, values, worldviews, governance and knowledge systems: Indigenous data sovereignty. This article examines the current state of third sector research relating to Indigenous peoples. We find that Indigenous communities are largely absent from third sector research and there are significant issues with how third sector research conceptualizes Indigenous peoples. We introduce Indigenous data sovereignty as a demand and framework of Indigenous communities aimed at supporting more equitable research practices and pathways to advance research with and for—and not on—Indigenous communities.
Within Indigenous communities, how do emerging Indigenous leaders experience resistance? This article discusses responses to this guiding research question within the multi-directional oppression Indigenous peoples experience in their communities as public administrators. Using an Indigenous Knowledge framework that is deeply based in grounded theory, we hosted listening circles to create a space for emerging Indigenous leaders to talk and hear each other in a Longhouse at The Evergreen State College. The listening circle contributors are mainly emerging leaders and tribal members from Native nations across the Salish Sea. They talked together to unravel the implications outsider and insider colonization has had on the community relations that exist today. This research focused solely on the perpetration of colonization tactics that use cultural traditions as a weapon to oppress rather than enliven. Rather than European colonization, internalized Indigenous colonization was often discussed from Indigenous person to person and distinct groups within Indigenous communities to other groups. Through exploring present day weaponized tradition, we work to heal through an Indigenous meta-narrative of lived experiences thereby removing Indigenous peoples from the classification of “other” or “erased.”
Intersections & Intersectionality
This paper examines how considerations of otherness and intersectionality could advance the theory of Social Construction and Policy Design. The paper utilizes housing policy and discrimination as its context to demonstrate how pluralistic sources of power and intersectional identities shape patterns of neighborhood segregation and lived experiences. While passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 marked a watershed moment, the administrative struggle to implement that law reflects the pervasive challenges of otherness particularly when current frames and constructions do not allow policymakers to consider certain populations that may be impacted or marginalized. The author investigates how government, private, and individual actions have normalized otherness, both responding to and reinforcing intersectional and complex conceptions of group identities over time. A more thorough examination of intersectionality and normalizing power can enhance the Social Construction lens to more authentically and truthfully empower action and present a path forward.
This research adds to the emergent literature on intersectionality and public administration through examining how transgender women of color (trans WOC) are interacting with U.S. social welfare offices. It is our contention that trans WOC, facing a compounded set of negative stereotypes derived from racial and gender identities, will be more likely than other transgender identifying persons to: (1) avoid seeking out public welfare benefits and (2) be more likely to report experiencing discriminatory treatment in social welfare offices. Using data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey we uncover evidence that trans WOC are more likely to avoid social welfare offices and face discrimination in social welfare offices. Scholars and administrators of social welfare programs, including Social Security related benefits, should be aware of the potential for public benefit avoidance and administrative discrimination directed toward historically marginalized groups and prioritize social equity considerations among clients facing compounded intersectional barriers.
Studies of the ramifications of client race and ethnicity for bureaucrats' judgments treat minority status as homogenous. Yet, individual identity does not boil down to race or ethnicity. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups likely vary in their experiences and capacity to overcome the negative sentiments and stereotypes that burden their inherited group. To transcend unidimensional explanations, we combine Van Oorschot's deservingness framework and a gendered lens to study how the intersection of group identity and gender, as well as individuals' work history, co-shape bureaucrats' categorization of clients. Empirically, we analyze Israeli professionals' categorization of applicants for state benefits, comparing their assessments of men and women of three social groups: the Jewish majority, ultra-orthodox Jews, and Muslims. Interpreting the empirical findings, we offer that underlying the effect of applicants' group demographics are perceived cultural affinity to the majority and social contributions that vary with gender.
This article was inspired by the special invitation to the Minnowbrook 50th Anniversary Conference: Rethinking the Administrative State. Participants were asked to write a concept paper discussing a critical issue or topic public administration, as a field, must address. As the legitimacy of the administrative state is constantly being threatened by systems of domination that seek to marginalize people with intersecting identities, public administrators must be stewards of democracy and work on behalf of all citizens. This essay advocates for the adoption of an intersectional framework in public administration because such a frame provides administrators with the knowledge, skills, and tools to incorporate multiple perspectives and ideologies, embrace difference, and work toward finally securing fairness, justice, and equity for all.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) visibility has exponentially grown over the past half century. In one lifetime, America has borne witness to the Stonewall Riots, AIDS epidemic, legalization of same-sex marriage, and debates for transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. Yet, scholarship in top public administration journals has rarely examined how LGBTQ+ milestones relate to policy development, implementation, and service-delivery. This exposes a discrepancy between what scholars study, what practitioners face, and what queer communities need. Building on the Social Equity Manifesto, this manuscript offers recommendations for incorporating queer perspectives into research, teaching, and instruction, offering a more inclusive and intersectional agenda.
LGBTQ+ issues at the local level pose some of the most pressing civil rights challenges in the current U.S. context. This analysis provides insight into what is taking place in major municipalities and how these efforts can be improved to bolster equity and civil rights for LGBTQ+ populations. At a time when identity, language, and public sector values are inherently intertwined and constantly changing, the following question is ripe for analysis: how are major U.S. municipalities addressing the civil rights needs of the LGBTQ+ population? To answer this question, an analysis of government websites from the top 10 U.S. cities by population is conducted, examining the policies, programs, and services that municipalities offer LGBTQ+ residents and the language used to frame these policies, programs, and services as expressions of power, representations of identity, and the website presentation itself.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual plus (LGBTQIA+) communities are underrepresented in public and nonprofit affairs research. This has led to an incomplete picture of how public and nonprofit organizations can better support LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. In this article, we discuss how researchers can include the LGBTQIA+ community, why they should care about this community, and the appropriate terminology and distinctions within the LGBTQIA+ community. This article is a call to arms: LGBTQIA+ individuals are an important part of the work in the public and nonprofit sector; and as such the language used to describe their experiences should be supportive and affirming.
As Public Administration Review (PAR) Editors, we believe that the quest to provide a better understanding of the concept of race in public administration has begun in earnest, a quest that we hope will usher in a new era in the study of race in public administration. Each one of us—individually and collectively, in everyday matters and in big picture decisions, in service and in scholarship—has supported and continues to support this quest. For example, in association with Consortium of Race and Gender Scholars (CORGES), we organized a panel with an eponymous title (more on this later; see Hall 2022). This editorial—in addition to introducing contents of this issue—offers reflection and theoretical provocation intended to invigorate the public administration scholarly community's approach to the concept of race.
Public administration has an ethical problem with race and racism. Researchers find that race is a nervous area of government public administrators avoid confronting, resulting in their eschewing discretion and creating administrative evil. Administrative racism occurs when administrators rely on technical rationality to avoid making difficult decisions about race. The authors argue public administration curricula must prepare students to address the root causes of racism. There is a need for race-conscious pedagogy to prepare administrators to competently negotiate this nervous area of government. This article presents one model for public administration programs to better prepare students to respond to ethical dilemmas dealing with race and racism. Drawing on critical race in education, this essay presents a race-conscious public administration dialogue, links this dialogue to public management ethics, and specifies a classroom-tested antiracist pedagogy for public administration.
Remarkably little public administration scholarship has explored the dynamic of race as manifest in patterns of policy interpretation and discretionary judgments of individual administrators. We raise the issue of race in public administration despite the widespread view that the lens of race is obsolete or counterproductive. We argue that scholarship in the field has failed to come to terms with how this neglect has contributed to maintaining long-standing policies and practices with racist implications. We explore the question of whether the lens of race reveals the outline of an ethic for administrative practice. After a brief illustrative historical review, we critique the current approaches to incorporating race into administrative practice (managing diversity and cultural competence) as inadequate for the necessary rethinking at the theoretical level. We propose an ethical framework based on American pragmatist philosophy and on Hannah Arendt's notion of inclusive solidarity.
This article presents a counternarrative to traditional approaches to pedagogy in the public administration (PA) classroom. With the increasing diversity and complexity of American society, the field of PA must carefully navigate historical and contemporary issues fueling discourse and discontent. These issues include police violence, entrenched disparities, and institutional racism. The article posits that issues around race, racism, and oppression are salient concerns for current and future public administrators. As such, the shedding of traditional hegemonic approaches to pedagogy, so common in PA programs, is paramount to promoting social equity. Critical dialogue is presented as an important counternarrative to assist in broadening perspectives when engaging in difficult conversations.
This article examines, from among public administration and allied literature spanning over one hundred years, how "race" (both as fact and artifact) has shaped and similarly been shaped by scholarly output serving public administration. The paper finds that race and administrative inquiry and praxis in America have co-aligned, and entangled, since the inception of public administration. Their relevance, each for the other, is determined here to be lasting and profound.
American public policy is and has always been profoundly racialized. Yet, the literature on policy feedback lacks cohesive theorization of how race matters for feedback processes. This article offers a conceptual road map for studying policy feedback in the context of racialized politics. Drawing together the substantial (but largely disconnected) work that already exists in the fields of public policy and racial politics, I develop the racialized feedback framework to provide theoretical guidance on (i) when race should be a core focus of policy feedback research and (ii) how race structures the relationship between policy and polity. I argue that both the scope of the questions that scholars ask and the nature of the answers they find are altered when race is afforded an appropriately central role in research on policy feedback.
This article addresses some of the concerns faculty have in managing a discussion on race in the classroom, by making explicit that which is often implicit when discussing race. Key objectives are to mitigate tension in the classroom, thereby creating a safe space for difficult race discussions, and to develop and promote faculty preparation for courses and course components that focus on race and racism. Development of pedagogical skills is a function of self-awareness, emotion management, and understanding student values. Faculty preparation needs to be ongoing, flexible, and adaptable to the values of the students and the system. Student-centered examples and strategies are provided to aid emotion management in the classroom.
Historians of American public administration have largely perpetuated its self-image of neutrality and scientific detachment. Yet public agencies are shaped by their political and cultural environments. Long-standing myths and historical narratives about the meaning of America reveal not neutrality but racial bias dating back centuries, a pattern sustained, in part, by failure to recognize its existence. This article explores how historical understandings of the administrative state have neglected the influence of racial bias on the development of administrative practices. We suggest that a reconstructed understanding may strengthen support for anti-racism efforts, such as diversity training, representative bureaucracy, and social equity.
In 2019, American workers reported 26,221 claims of workplace harassment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Nearly half of those claims represented sex-based harassment. The #MeToo movement has shined a spotlight on the pervasiveness of harassment across sectors and institutions. A 2018 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine indicates that 58 percent of women in academic institutions, for instance, have experienced some form of sexual harassment. In this article, the authors propose a three-part framework to establish a culture of zero tolerance of sexual harassment. The framework helps academic and other institutions prevent sexual harassment, protect victims from risks of reporting harassment, and set accountability measures to demand justice. The utility of the framework is twofold. First, administrators can apply it as a tool to audit institutional attitudes toward sexual harassment. Second, leaders can apply it as a corrective tool to prevent permissive organizational climates that allow sexual harassment to be perpetuated.
The #MeToo movement has done a great deal to address sexual abuse and violence. There is no doubt that justice may occur when the right person speaks out. However, what happens when the wrong people—that is, people of color, the working class women, and transgender people— speak out on the same issue? When these “wrong people” do speak out, they are discredited, marginalized, and silenced by being ignored. This Viewpoint essay addresses two populations that have been overlooked by the #MeToo movement: women of color and transgender people. The essay concludes with recommendations for how the movement can move forward given the criticisms around the absence of diversity and transparency.
The complexity of the sexual harassment language of the #MeToo movement creates discontinuities that may muddy intended communications. Yet understanding this language provides a fuller picture of the experiences that women face. Gender harassment has persisted in the workplace despite long-standing antidiscrimination policies, perhaps because of a universal failure to recognize all forms of it—some of which are more pervasive and common than sexual abuse. This article considers the ability of the academy to affect sexual harassment in public administration. It discusses the implications of gender harassment, the least recognized form of sexual harassment, and makes recommendations for overcoming gender barriers in the academy and in practice. Evidence-based guidance for advancing women in the academy may create more equitable and just spaces for teaching and learning. Public administration classrooms and scholarship represent critical opportunities to recognize patterns of organizational practice and systematically redress gender harassment in the workplace.
Public Administration, the field's oldest journal, is now 100 years old. Despite this centenary, it has only been relatively recently that scholars have examined questions of: (1) how diverse, equitable, and inclusive the field is; (2) how oppressive administrative structures marginalize groups; and (3) what principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean globally. We seek to contribute to this conversation by reflecting on what is currently known about answers to these questions, especially from global perspectives. We do this by presenting five purposively selected vignettes, each on some dimension of DEI. We frame and analyze these vignettes using Gooden's “name, blame, and claim” framework. Reflections are offered regarding how the field can better center and achieve DEI.
Social equity is the active commitment to fairness, justice, and equality in the formulation
of public policy, distribution of public services, implementation of public policy,
and management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract. Public
administrators, including all persons involved in public governance, should seek to
prevent and reduce inequality, unfairness, and injustice based on significant social
characteristics and to promote greater equality in access to services, procedural
fairness, quality of services, and social outcomes. Public administrators should empower
participation of all persons in the political process and support the exercise of constructive personal choice. The commitment to social equity indicates an awareness of the social conditions that administrators deal with in their work and the disparate effects of administrative decision making on all constituencies.
Teaching about systemic racism and the myth of white supremacy to the next cadre of public administrators is critical as it supports students’ abilities to challenge dominant paradigms and center counternarratives; both serve a purpose in advancing toward a more just and equitable society. This paper offers insight into the development and implementation of course content – across two universities in two different sociopolitical contexts – that helps students define, examine, and apply social justice terms that advances training for public service. Exposure to such content challenges students to consider ways in which social, economic, and political factors influence life chances and allows students to better understand how power and privilege perpetuate status quo inequities for marginalized populations.
The field of public administration has long resisted admitting an uncomfortable truth. Public administrattion is culpable in creating and maintaining racist, white supremacist policies and institutions through which Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color disproportionately experience prejudice and discrimination and, therefore, inequities and injustices throughout public services and society. However, few have been willing to have this difficult conversation. This Dialogue symposium seeks to contribute to this conversation, and this introduction both previews pieces in the symposium while also adding context to key concepts and discussions.
The United States' racial history infrequently defines the representativeness of bureaucracies outside of the United States. This article explores how selective historical memories and insufficiently critical concept importations limit disciplinary understandings. We articulate how policy transfer assumptions, narrow administrative histories, methodological Whiteness, and incomplete considerations of non-West administration alter our understanding of what is or is not representative bureaucracy. We encourage scholars to recall how concepts like representative bureaucracy may lack exact comparability outside the West and to be open to its potential alteration by contextual circumstances. The implications for further exploration of the representative bureaucracy concept and the challenges for pedagogy are also discussed.
Color-blind administration is a realized public value because it desired by substantial numbers of Americans and legally mandated as an equality strategy. However, critical race scholars argue that color-blindness is a means of communicating White racial dominance by devaluing the experiences of people of color. This article argues that a public administration theory of Whiteness and color-blindness illuminates the tension between the goals of equality in public organizations and the historical and contemporary reality that outcomes tend to benefit Whites.
Throughout much of representative bureaucracy literature, scholars have primarily focused on the representation of people seen as other in the professional workforce—people of color and women. However, whiteness and masculinity have been central to the development of public administration as a field of scholarship and practice. As a field, we have often avoided explicit discussions regarding the impact whiteness and masculinity. We argue that silences around race and gender have significant implications. Using representative bureaucracy as a frame, we seek to highlight how acknowledging whiteness and masculinity in our scholarship can help provide a more comprehensive understanding of race and gender in public administration.