Donald Moynihan, director and professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs at University of Wisconsin-Madison, previewed his new book, Hassles or Help: Compliance, Learning and Psychological Costs in the Administrative State. This talk developed the concept of administrative burden as an important variable in understanding how citizens experience the state. Administrative burden is conceptualized as a function of learning, psychological, and compliance costs in citizen-state interactions. Such burdens have a material effect on whether, and how, individuals receive public services, and in many cases are a function of deliberate political choice. The opaque nature of administrative burdens may facilitate their use as forms of “hidden politics,” where significant policy changes occur without broad political consideration. A variety of examples are used to establish a research agenda for administrative burdens in the field of public affairs.
Moynihan is former co-editor of Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory and Public Administration Review and is president of the Public Management Research Association. In 2011, he was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration.
A native of Ireland, Moynihan completed his bachelor of arts degree in public administration at the University of Limerick, and his master’s and Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.