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Public AdministrationThe Interdisciplinary Study of Government$
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Jos C. N. Raadschelders

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693894

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693894.001.0001

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Science or Wissenschaft? The Study of Public Administration among the Three Branches of Learning

Science or Wissenschaft? The Study of Public Administration among the Three Branches of Learning

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 Science or Wissenschaft? The Study of Public Administration among the Three Branches of Learning
Source:
Public Administration
Author(s):

Jos C.N Raadschelders

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693894.003.0002

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.

Keywords:   science, Wissenschaft, branches of knowledge, umbrella discipline

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