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Developing a Foundation: Administration in the Polis

Author: NOLAN J. ARGYLE
Published in PAQ, Vol. 26 No. 3

This study argues that much can be gained by examining the true intellectual origins of the discipline of public administration - origins found not in the work of Weber nor of Wilson not in the writings of the Greek thinkers underpinning the development of Western civilization. This study examines early Greek contributions to our understanding of the administrative state, beginning with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. A framework is developed which allows an examination and comparison of early Greek thought with more contemporary views of administration. The study concludes with an assessment of the value of such an examination.

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