In recent years various theories of “democratic administration” have been developed. These theories differ in their origins, their motivation, their sophistication. Some have been crudely forged in the heat of administration; some are finely-machined products of scholarship. Some pertain especially to private administration, others have been developed for public administration, while still others cut across this conventional division.
These theories of democratic administration constitute a significant development in political thought. However crude and limited some of them may be, they open new areas to be explored in the development of democratic ideology; whatever their limitations, they are constructive efforts to adapt an ethic in which we believe to the contemporary world. If administration is indeed “the core of modern government,” then a theory of democracy in the twentieth century must embrace administration. I wish to sketch the background of administrative thought and history against which theories of democratic administration are seen in perspective; to review briefly some of these theories; and to comment upon the prospects and problems of the further development of theory of democratic administration.