Four years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a group of Public Administration scholars met in New York's Adirondack Mountains to discuss the future of the field. At this gathering, the Minnowbrook I Conference, scholars acknowledged the need for social equity. Today, more than fifty years later, there is still a need for social equity. There is still a need to understand the history and role of oppression within Public Administration. Apropos, in this dissertation, I interrogate oppression, by way of postcolonialism and critical discourse analysis, to learn about the field's darkness and splendor. This project aims to help administrators reimagine a field and democracy for all. This dissertation is both an exercise in self-reflection and an invitation to become self-conscious about colonialism in our discourse. Explicitly, this project's central research question is: Does the American Public Administration Discourse (APAD) exhibit colonial discourse as a basis of power? Herein, discourse means a set of relationships between people, institutions, language, and rhetorical practices within Public Administration in the United States, post-1968. To answer the main research question, I used qualitative content analysis to analyze, via NVivo12, a purposive sample of 38 vital journal-length texts from the field. To inform and guide my study, I developed a deductive coding frame for colonial discourse. The frame includes three main categories and seven subcategories: Eurocentrism (Historicism, Developmentalist Fallacy and the Cult of Progress, Parochiality of Scientism, and Orientalism), the Civilizational Mission (Didactic Despotism and Neocolonial Prosperity Mission), and the Colonial Difference (Binarism). Per my qualitative content analysis, across the sample, colonial discourse is commonplace and taken for granted. While several texts challenge colonial discourse, they are often ambivalent in that they attack one dimension of colonial discourse while reinforcing another.
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Public Affairs; Public Administration Dual Degree-MPA Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Santis, Esteban, "Postcolonial Public Administration: A Critical Discourse Analysis" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 128.