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The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century$
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Jack Hayward, Brian Barry, and Archie Brown

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262948

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262948.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 05 April 2020

: British Public Administration

: British Public Administration

Dodo, Phoenix or Chameleon?

Chapter:
(p.286) (p.287) 10: British Public Administration
Source:
The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century
Author(s):

Christopher Hood

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262948.003.0010

This chapter discusses three possible interpretations of the development of British Public Administration over the twentieth century as a way of assessing its contribution to political science. Those interpretations are respectively labelled ‘dodo’, ‘phoenix’, and ‘chameleon’. The ‘dodo’ interpretation is a pessimistic fin de siècle view of British Public Administration as in serious decline from early promise and former greatness. The ‘phoenix’ interpretation is a more optimistic perception of the subject as advancing in scientific rigour and conceptual sophistication over the century, leaving behind the outmoded styles of the past. A third view, the ‘chameleon’ interpretation, is a picture of lateral transformation, with the adoption of new intellectual colouring and markings to fit a new era.

Keywords:   British Public Administration, political science, conceptual sophistication, lateral transformation, fin de siècle

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