Public Budgeting in the United States

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176 pp., 6 x 9
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ISBN: 9780878407521 (0878407529)

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ISBN: 9781589013995

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September 1999
LC: 99-18208

Texts and Teaching, Politics, Policy, Administration series

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Public Budgeting in the United States
The Cultural and Ideological Setting
Steven G. Koven

Budgeting has long been considered a rational process using neutral tools of financial management, but this outlook fails to consider the outside influences on leaders' behavior. Steven G. Koven shows that political culture (moralistic, traditionalistic, individualistic) and ideological orientations (liberal vs. conservative) are at least as important as financial tools in shaping budgets.

Koven examines budget formation at the national, state, and local levels to demonstrate the strong influence of attitudes about how public money should be generated and spent. In addition to statistical data, the book includes recent case studies: the 1997 budget agreement; Governor George W. Bush's use of the budget process to advance a conservative policy agenda in the state of Texas; and Mayor Marion Barry's abuses of power in Washington, D.C.

Koven demonstrates that administrative principles are at best an incomplete guide for public officials and that budgeters must learn to interpret signals from the political environment.


Steven G. Koven is an associate professor of management and urban policy at the University of Louisville. He is the coauthor of American Public Policy: the Contemporary Agenda (Houghton-Mifflin, 1998).


Reviews
"Steve Koven has given us a pungent and useful study of budgeting in America. His perspective on the cultural underpinning of budgeting is refreshing and unique. The author has gotten beyond the public skin of budgeting and given us a long range and lucid view of the values which structure budgeting. This is a splendid book and a good read for scholars and students alike."—Hank V. Savitch, Urban Studies Institute, University of Louisville

Table of Contents
1. Introduction

2. American National and Subnational Cultural Perspective

3. Historical Antecedents of American Culture and Political Ideology

4. Case Studies: Cultural and Ideological Influences on Budgeting: 1997 Tax Reform/Budgeting in Texas/Washington, D.C.

5. Linkages among Culture, Ideology, and Budget Outputs

6. Conclusions