A Transfer of Idea Approach to the History of Public Administration: The Hybridizations of Administrative Traditions

Mavrot, Céline; Rosser, Christian; Sager, Fritz; Hurni, Pascal (2021). A Transfer of Idea Approach to the History of Public Administration: The Hybridizations of Administrative Traditions. In: Hildreth, W. Bartley; Miller, Gerald J.; Lindquist, Evert A. (eds.) Handbook of Public Administration (pp. 13-24). New York, London: Routledge

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This chapter provides an overview of the transfer of ideas between German, French, and U.S. Public Administration during the 20th century, based on a wide range of primary sources from the three countries and contests the dominating perspective of path-dependent national silos in Public Administration theory. A largely uncontested assumption persists that the French, German, and U.S. intellectual traditions have followed distinct and separate ideational paths. However, evidence shows that these three classical administrative traditions have experienced significant exchanges and hybridizations. The chapter notably examines the question of the politics-administration dichotomy in the three countries, and offers a reflection on the changing conception of the trias politica across time. Going beyond a comparative perspective, this chapter applies a transfer-of-ideas approach and thus provides a theoretical framework for a transnational analysis of the circulation of administrative ideas. By analyzing the hybridity of administrative traditions in the 20th century, the chapter proposes a new approach to the history of ideas of Public Administration that is also relevant to the contemporary period. Learning from other traditions in no way is a new phenomenon and has happened before New Public Management entered the stage. Intellectual administrative traditions have long been hybrid and open for exogenous ideas.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


11 Centers of Competence > KPM Center for Public Management
09 Interdisciplinary Units > Centre for University Continuing Education

UniBE Contributor:

Mavrot, Céline; Rosser, Christian and Sager, Fritz


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science








Céline Mavrot

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2021 11:36

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2021 11:36

Additional Information:

4th edition





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