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"What Citizens are Being Trained Here?" The (Lacking) Administration of Children Open Access

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In this dissertation, I expose an absence of Public Administration scholarship that considers children within the context of the administrative activities and functions of government. While most social science fields have contemplated the unique nature of children as different from adults within the context of their discipline and altered actions based on their findings, the field of Public Administration has initiated no explicit consideration of children. Nor has the field adapted the implementation of public policy, through its interactions with children, based on their unique nature and needs.I begin by tracing the consideration of children as different from adults and the resulting applied implications of this consideration by various social science fields during the 20th century. To understand Public Administration's oversight of children, I turn to the theoretical and structural arrangements that guide the field and may have made this oversight possible. Specifically, I trace the framing of the Constitution and events of the Progressive Era, as two debates that historically helped frame important themes of the field. Additionally, I trace developments in public policy regarding children to understand why the field did not focus on children even during times of increased attention and public policy. In closing, I argue that this oversight impacts children negatively and shapes their understanding of government and democracy.

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