Waldo in the Light of Austerity and Federal Debt Crisis, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. Read Part 1 by clicking the link in the Related Articles box below this article.

Jan Kallberg

Waldo’s predictions about the future for public administration describe five areas that would be problematic in the future: legitimacy, authority, knowledge, control, and confidence. Legitimacy includes not only that the government is legally legitimized but capable and focused on an intention to deliver the “good society.” Authority, according to Waldo, is the ability to implement policy with the acceptance of the people based on rationalism, expectations of public good, ethics, superior knowledge, and institutional contexts. Knowledge is institutional knowledge, the ability to arrange and utilize knowledge within the bureaucracy since coordination is the major challenge in knowledge management. Government has never had so much information and data, but to arrange, structure, and manage this knowledge within government is a major hurdle. Control is the ability to control what we want to control in the bureaucracy. The growing size of government, with a multitude of programs running often parallel, seeking to solve issues for a diverse population, generates entropy and undermines control. Confidence is trust people have that government delivers the “good society” in the future. The debt crisis, and its media attention, is an example of a situation that could decrease the confidence in government. According to Waldo, feelings of vulnerability and fear of future events are the absence of confidence in public administration, which have direct implications on the health care debate and the financial health of Medicare and Social Security.”

This is the beginning of the second part in PA Times


The first part can be found here:


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