Democratic Decline and Public Administration: What is to be Done?

Allan Rosenbaum


This article discusses in an essay style the challenges currently facing many of our local communities and national governments, and society more generally, which are substantial and profoundly concerning. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has only added another layer of complexity. The author notes the increasing fragility of democratic institutions in many nations and the growing prevalence of autocratic leadership in countries that traditionally have been perceived as stable democracies. There are two critical issues discussed more in-depth. These are, first, a significant decline, especially in democratic nations, over the past several decades in government resources and capacity. This increasingly limits the ability of these countries to respond to the most critical needs of their societies. Second is the profoundly destabilizing, worldwide growth in inequality which frequently underlies the declining public confidence in democratic governments.


public administration; democratic decline; crisis; social inequality; administrative capacity.

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