A Different Kind of State?: Popular Power and Democratic Administration


243 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-19-540907-8
DDC 350




Edited by Gregory Albo, David Langille, and Leo Panitch
Reviewed by Joseph Garcea

Joseph Garcea is an assistant professor of political studies at the
University of Saskatchewan.


This collection of articles examines the desirability and feasibility of
developing a more democratic and responsive state. The book is written
from a leftist perspective that echoes the so-called new public
administration movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Various articles
critique the neoconservative mantra of recent years for dealing with the
problems of governance. The editors suggest that the solution lies not
in “privatizing the public sector, but in making it more responsive;
the real issue is not more state or less state, but rather a different
kind of state.”

The book is divided into four major sections: the first deals with
broad conceptual and theoretical issues on the nature, determinants, and
prospects of democratic governance; the second examines the issue of
popular involvement in planning within the post-welfare state; the third
examines the role of social movements and public employees as the agents
of the democratization process; and the fourth examines various
initiatives in Canada, at both the provincial and local levels, aimed at
achieving more democratic governance and administration.

Although written from an explicitly leftist perspective, this book will
appeal to readers of all ideological persuasions. Its theoretical
insights, its critique of the neoconservative reform agenda, and its own
recommendations for reform will be of particular interest to political
and social reformers.


“A Different Kind of State?: Popular Power and Democratic Administration,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/13293.