Science or Wissenschaft? The Study of Public Administration among the Three Branches of Learning
Within the three branches of knowledge (natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities), public administration fits best among the social sciences. In this chapter, various examples of mapping knowledge at large are discussed with attention for relevance to public administration. When scholars of public administration criticize the study for, among other things, lack of rigor, they do so on the basis of an inappropriate comparison to the nature of the natural sciences. A significant portion of this chapter is devoted to outlining the differences between the natural sciences on the one hand and the social sciences and humanities on the other. Public administration is presented as an umbrella discipline for the study and understanding of government.
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