So You Want to Be In Government?

A Handbook for Appointed Officials In America's Governments

By Richard P. Nathan

Subjects: American Government
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9780914341758, 91 pages, December 2000

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Table of contents


1. Joining "The Governing Class"


"The Governing Class
The U. S. System
The Academic View
A Debatable Assumption
Turnover at the Top
Types of Inners and Outers
The Ethics of Influence


2. Getting to Be--And Being--A Leader


Which Political Party?
Being Political


3. Team Building


The B-Team
The A-Team
The Subcabinet


4. Making Policy


The Budget Process
The PPB System
Where Do New Ideas Come From?


5. Policy Implementation


Implementation as Exploration
Advice for Policy Managers
What Works?
An Example
Being an Accountable Leader


Appendix to Chapter 5 -- American Federalism

6. Dealing with the Media

7. Wielding Power in America's Governments


Nine Suggestions
Expanding the Talent Pool for Public Service

A guide for appointed officials in American government.


In American governments, unlike in other countries, there are thick layers of officials who serve on a short-term basis as high officials in appointive offices. Thousands of people serve in these roles. They are "inners and outers" who serve "at the pleasure" of the officials who appointed them.

This small book—really a long essay—is intended to inform people who should be interested in these exciting, challenging leadership jobs inside America's governments.

It is hoped the ideas presented here and the advice proffered will stimulate interested citizens to seek and accept appointive office, and that this book will also aid them in being successful in carrying out their responsibilities.