The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
The highly respected Public Administration Review (PAR) has published a special issue on the Federalist Papers guest-edited by Paul Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service.
For this extraordinary edition dated December 1, 2011, Professor Light brought together 20 leading public administration scholars and asked them to write boldly about what he called a "perfectly audacious" question: What might Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, who between October 1787 and August 1788 penned the Federalist Papers promoting ratification of the U.S. Constitution, add now to the pamphlets, in view of changes in the administration of our government over the past two and a quarter centuries? Are these foundational essays still relevant? How might key pamphlets be updated to reflect new realities? Each contributor considers a specific Federalist Paper that Light considers to be among those of greatest import to effective governance in our time.
In the role of guest editor, Light assembled some of the most senior scholars in the field, as well as members of the next generation of leading thinkers in public administration. The special issue will stimulate debate on some of the seemingly intractable issues with which Americans are intensely grappling today.
NYU Wagner's Professor Paul Light goes before Congress on Wednesday, February 15, to make the case for top-to-bottom reform of the federal government.
"Evidence is all around us," he says, "of dwindling confidence in government and its ability to respond effectively to evident challenges, national and international, economomic and political....The United States desperately needs more accountable, efficient and productive government at every level."
Dr. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner. He received the 2010 Herbert Simon Award from the American Political Science Association for his book "A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It."
Paul Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, has written an essay for a newly published book. In the piece he contends that, for all the low levels of trust the federal government inspires in contemporary public-opinion surveys, it has played a helpful role in American life, ranging from transportation and housing to the environment and the arts.
In the book To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government, edited by Professor Steven Conn of Ohio State (published by Oxford University Press), Light's chapter is titled “From Endeavor to Achievement and Back Again: Government’s Greatest Hits in Peril.” The essay recounts 50 pieces of legislation that reveal what he calls “a good-faith effort to identify the problems that the federal government tried hardest to solve over the past half century.”
“These efforts are extraordinarily wide-ranging—from advancing human rights to helping veterans readjust to civilian life; from protecting the consumers to protecting the environment,” writes Light. “All but a handful of the 50 endeavors involve closely related sets of laws organized around a consistent strategy for addressing a focused problem, such as crime, water quality, or arms control and disarmament.”
Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, will work on a project dealing with the size and shape of the contract and privatized workforce at the state and local levels. The fellowship represents an opportunity for Light to expand his work on the "true size of government" at a time when states and localities are trying to downsize their government workforces by outsourcing headcount -- an approach some see as "penny wise and pound foolish."