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Handbook of Public Administration, 3rd Edition by James L. Perry, Robert K. Christensen

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Chapter 5Understanding How Public Law Reinforces Administrative Responsibility

Phillip J. Cooper

From its earliest foundations, public law in the United States has been both a way to support effective public administration practice and address critical issues of responsibility, issues of practice, and legitimacy. It is critical to recall that the Constitution was created not to limit government but to create an efficacious government. The framers replaced the failed Articles of Confederation with a charter that would form a “more perfect union” and provide the institutions, processes, and authority to make effective governance possible. A century later, early work on administrative law by Frank Goodnow (1893, 1905) presented legal tools and ...

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