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Cameralist thought and public administration

Michael W. Spicer (Professor of Public Administration, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X

Article publication date: 1 September 1998



Cameralism, as a set if ideas, refers to a system of “sciences” whose professors, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, recorded and attempted to extend and improve administrative practices to serve the absolutist monarchs of Germany and Austria. This article examines some of the major themes of cameralist political and social thought. Particular attention is paid here to cameralist writings about the nature of the state, the value of science, and the power of the executive. It is concluded here that the cameralists sounded themes that continue to resonate in much of modern American public administration, but that these themes may not be as relevant to a constitutional republic as they were to the absolutist regimes of Germany and Austria.



Spicer, M.W. (1998), "Cameralist thought and public administration", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 149-159.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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