Public Health in a Retrenchment Era
An Alternative to Managerialism
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Public Health in a Retrenchment Era illustrates the political and economic reality of making cutbacks in traditional government-sponsored programs. This book critically examines the issues concerning cutbacks by focusing on Los Angeles County, which has one of the largest public health service systems in the nation, and explains how cutbacks were legitimized and implemented.
Muller and Ventriss propose that the retrenchment process offers an opportunity for policymakers and citizens alike to critically examine new choices which may not have existed in periods of fiscal expansion. They criticize the present focus on managerialism and propose an alternative approach. Called the co-possibility model, it enhances a more humane and substantive policy approach in making cutbacks. This model links the citizen, policymaker, and public organization in a new relationship, fostering an environment for policy experimentation and innovation in this retrenchment era.
Helen J. Muller is Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management. Curtis Ventriss is Associate Research Scientist; Program Director, Urban Planning and Policy Management Program; and, Academic Director, International Fellowship Program at the Center for Metropolitan Planning and Research, The Johns Hopkins University.
". ..an imaginative and important contribution to the field of public administration and public policy. The authors' co-possibility model is a creative alternative to the orthodox bureaucratic doctrine for managing organizational retrenchment. " — William G. Scott, Professor, University of Washington at Seattle, Co-author, Organizational America
". ..a first rate critique of management and policy issues posed by public sector and health services retrenchment; examines the human consequences connected with managing fiscal cuts; the authors propose a unique problem solving model which challenges managers, policy makers and citizens to work together in resolving social problems—perhaps even to use retrenchment as an opportunity to form new coalitions less possible in periods of expansion. " — Robert P. Biller, Executive Vice Provost, University of Southern California