Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Vol 49, No 3-4 (2005)

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Finding Parallelism Between Postmodern’s Discourse Theory and the New Public Administration’s Minnowbrook Perspective

Leonila D. De Jesus

Abstract


The study highlights the commonalities and differences of the new Public Administration and the Discourse Theory. New Public Administration was born out of the tumultuous environment of the 60s, while the Discourse theory was prompted by the hyperreality of the fragmented society in the 90s. Both theories share the belief in an respect for individual’s own experience, and dominance of public interest above all values to predicate public action and the rejection of the command-and-control bureaucratic structure in policymaking and implementation. The two theories diverge in their respective formulations of location of public engagements. New Public Administration suggests use of models of task force, matrix, project, terms, devolution etc. to facilitate client participation in shaping public policy, while the Discourse theory explicates the importance of transforming the bureaucracy into one permeable, situational public energy field.