In Modernism's Wake: Public Administration and Policy in the 21st Century

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Title

Public Administration Review





First Page


Last Page



In a world that is often described as postmodern, poststructural, and postcolonial, what do such “post-ist” (Farmer 1999) claims mean for those of us who are in one way or another engaged in the governance process? To be more direct: What is the point of all of this po-mo stuff that we are now so tired of hearing about? The books under review, Postmodern Public Policy by Hugh T. Miller, A New Mind for Policy Analysis: Toward a Post-Newtonian and Postpositivist Epistemology and Methodology by Gokug Morcol, and Public Administration and the State: A Postmodern Perspective by Michael Spicer, take up this challenge. All three authors share an interest in the theoretical foundations of a postmodern public administration and policy. Their work has implications for all PAR readers who have come to the conclusion that policy analysis is not value free nor are its problems solvable using Newtonian science.