Politics and Public Service in Hawaii

Backstage in a BureaucracyWhat is it like to be in charge of a large public bureaucracy? Top-level state executives set agendas, formulate policies, turn legislative mandates into actions, oversee staff operations, develop and manage budgets, and generally influence (for better or worse) agency performance. In Backstage in a Bureaucracy: Politics and Public Service, Susan Chandler and Dick Pratt provide a first-hand day-to-day look at running a large bureaucracy. For eight years Chandler was the director of the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services, where she managed more than 2,000 employees. Dick Pratt, a public administration professor, has advised a variety of public and private organizations in Hawai’i, the Pacific, and Asia.

“Chandler and Pratt capture with clarity, insight, and good humor the challenges and complexities of leadership in the government sector. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand or contribute through public service, and a cathartic experience for anyone who’s been there.” —Susan Doyle, president, Aloha United Way, and former state deputy director of commerce and consumer affairs

January 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3501-9 / $15.00 (PAPER)