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BookTalk: What She Said: How Jane Addams Informs Public Administration

Feb. 21 | 1 p.m. ET

This BookTalk introduces the remarkable Jane Addams as a pioneer of public administration and so much more. It uses Jane Addams' story to make the case that public administration should re-imagine its past by incorporating more diverse voices and ideas. Pat Shields’s Jane Addams: Progressive Pioneer of Peace, Philosophy, Sociology, Social Work and Public Administration demonstrates how the life and works of Jane Addams was lost and is being recovered in a variety of interrelated fields.

Jane Addams was well-established on the national stage as a noted author, public speaker, leader of the settlement movement and advocate for reforms touching the lives of immigrants, women and children when public administration was emerging as a field. Her experiences as the executive director of a large nonprofit, a garbage collector, community organizer, feminist pragmatist and democratic theorist give her a unique set of public administration credentials. This BookTalk examines her life and ideas showing their relevance for contemporary public administration.

You will learn:
  • Goals of a more inclusive public administration should look backward, as well as forward
  • More about Jane Addams's contributions public administration theory and practice
  • Why the lack of women and minorities in our collective public administration history is a contemporary problem. We should all be re-imagining our collective past.

Patricia Shields, Professor of Political Science, Texas State University
Pat Shields' research interests include the application of the philosophy of pragmatism to the field of public administration. There she found Jane Addams as a recently recovered founder of classical pragmatism and as a democratic theorist. Following up on her dissertation research, the equity of the military recruitment process during the Vietnam era, she also studies civil-military relations broadly defined. In 2001 she became the editor-in-chief of Armed Forces & Society a top ten military studies journal. Addams role as leader of the women’s peace movement led to the Nobel Peace Prize. Her three books on peace were less well known. Recognizing this omission, Pat Shields began investigating Addams’s ideas of peace seeing potential applications for contemporary peacekeeping operations. To her surprise, she saw applications of Addams ideas of peace to public administration. She and Joseph Soeters published “Peaceweaving: Jane Addams, positive peace and public administration” in a recent issue of the American Review of Public Administration. Pat Shields has won the PAR Lavern Burchfield Award, the Rita Mae Kelly Research Award for Outstanding Research in Gender Related Issues, by the Section for Women in Public Administration and the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching award from the Network of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Mary Guy, Moderator, University of Colorado Denver
Mary Guy teaches courses on public administration, public management, organizational behavior, human resource management and leadership and ethics. She has written widely about emotional labor in public service, especially in regard to emotionally intense work demands. She also writes about workforce diversity and the difference that gender makes in policy development and implementation. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, past President of the American Society for Public Administration, and past Editor-in-Chief of the Review of Public Personnel Administration. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her research, leadership, and mentoring. She holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (University of Florida), a Master’s degree in psychology (University of South Carolina) and a Ph.D. degree in political science (University of South Carolina).