Woodrow Wilson’s essay, “The Study of Administration” (1887), is about the
separation of politics and administration in public administration. There is still a lot of
debating among politicians and scholars alike whether this dichotomy is practical or not.
There are some advantages and disadvantages about this theory.
Wilson believed that it was needed to discover what the government could
successfully do and how it could be done more efficiently; that the government needed to
be reformed. He developed this theory because of increased corruption, urbanization and
immigration. Due to these issues, he believed that less qualified people were getting
public service jobs, therefore contributing to the increasing inefficiency of public
administration. Wilson felt that politics should determine what the government should
actually do and be decided by elected representatives. He believed administration should
be the ones to put these policies into effect by appointed civil servants.
In a euphoric world a political administration dichotomy would provide a solid
foundation to a nation. It could even be beneficial in a society that is evolving; such as Administration and Politics Dichotomy 2
one coming out of a third world status, the fall of a dictatorship, or even the overthrow of
communism or socialism. This form of government can work well at a small town
environment where there is a town manager to run the day to day operations of the
community and a board of alderman (possibly also known as town council) that creates
the laws the community operates under.
That being said, it is my opinion that in...