Policy Analysis and Public Management

Strengths and Limits

by Charles Wolf, Jr.


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Presidential Address delivered at the Third Annual Meeting of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Washington, D.C., October 23-24, 1981. The author divides his remarks into two separate but related segments. The first focuses on the strengths of policy analysis and public management: What is distinctive about the field? Where are we in its development? And where are we heading? In the second part of the paper, he presents a paradox and a puzzle about the field and its interaction with the realities of government. The puzzle suggests something about the limitations of the field. The answer proposed for resolving the puzzle should add a touch of humility to the confidence and optimism generated in the first part of the remarks.

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