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Thought for the Day: The Quest for Coordination

March 30, 2012

Public diplomacy is done by government agencies or organizations working on behalf of government so it’s important to pay attention to what this means.  This organizational dimension has to be seen as feature rather than a bug.  As a result I’ve been working my way through James Q. Wilson’s, excellent Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It (New York: Basic, 1989).  This morning I came across this

Harold Seidman described the quest for coordination as the “twentieth century equivalent of the medieval search for the philosopher’s stone.” In words heavy with irony, he explained: “If only we can find the right formula for coordination, we can reconcile the irreconcilable, harmonize competing and wholly divergent interests, overcome irrationalities in our government structures, and make hard policy choices to which no one will dissent.”

Hmm, I can think of few PD coordinating committees that this might apply to.

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