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Robert Durant Professor Emeritus Department of Public Administration and Policy

Send email to Robert Durant
PhD University of Tennessee
MPA University of Tennessee
BA Maryville College

Professor Durant resides in Atlanta, Georgia and is a founding partner of Emeritus Associates, LLC. His teaching and research focus were focused on executive branch politics, public management, policy implementation, environmental policy, and administrative reform. He has received seven book awards, two best article awards, and the prestigious Charles H. Levine Memorial Award for excellence in research, teaching, and service to the wider community. In addition, he has won seven teaching awards including the 2007 Outstanding Teaching Award in the School of Public Affairs and the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. He is also on the editorial boards of ten disciplinary journals, was a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand in 2002. In 2011, he was named AU Scholar-Teacher of the Year. In 2012, he received the Dwight Waldo Award for outstanding contributions to the literature of public administration over an extended career. In 2013, he received the John Gaus Award for a lifetime of exemplary research in the joint tradition of public administration and political science. He is a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


  • Why Public Service Matters: Public Managers, Public Policy, and Democracy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • The Oxford Handbook of American Bureaucracy, editor, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 864 pages.   
  • The Greening of the U.S. Military: Environmental Policy, National Security, and Organizational Change, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2007.   
  • Environmental Governance Reconsidered: Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities (edited with Daniel J. Fiorino and Rosemary O'Leary), Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004.       Winner of the 2005 SENRA Best Book Award, ASPA.  
  • Managing for the Environment: Understanding the Legal, Organizational, and Policy Challenges (co-authored with Rosemary O'Leary, Daniel J. Fiorino, and Paul S. Weiland), San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1999.      Winner of the Academy of Management Public and Nonprofit Division Award for the Best Book Published in 1999.       1999 Book Award Winner, Section for Environmental and Natural Resources Administration, American Society for Public Administration, as a "significant contribution to the literature on environmental and natural resources management."   
  • The Administrative Presidency Revisited: Public Lands, the BLM, and the Reagan Revolution, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.       Winner of the American Political Science Association's 1993 Gladys M. Kammerer Award for the "best publication on U.S. national policy" published the previous year.
  • When Government Regulates Itself: EPA, TVA, and Pollution Control in the 1970s, Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1985.   
  • Intragovernmental Regulation and the Public Interest: Air Pollution Control in the Tennessee Valley (co-authored with Michael R. Fitzgerald, Stephen J. Rechichar, and Larry W. Thomas), Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1983. 

Refereed Articles: Published or Accepted for Publication


  • Robert F. Durant. In press. 2011. “Global Crises, American Public Administration, and the ‘New Interventionism’ Revisited,” Administration & Society.
  • Robert F. Durant. In press, 2010. "'Wicked' Policy Problems, New Governance Models, and the Triumph of the 'New Associationalism' in the Post-Obama Era," Futures.
  • Robert F. Durant, Edmund Stazyk, and William G. Resh. 2010. "Faithful Infidelity: 'Political Time,' George W. Bush, and the Paradox of 'Big Government Conservatism," Review of Public Personnel Administration (December 2010).
  • Robert F. Durant. 2010. "Parsimony, 'Error' Terms, and the Future of a Field," Public Administration Review, 70 (Supplement 1) (December): S319-320.
  • Robert F. Durant. 2010. "National Defense, Environmental Regulation, and Overhead Democracy: A View from the 'Greening' of the U.S. Military," Public Organization Review : A Global Journal 10(3) (September): 223-244.
  • Robert F. Durant and Jerome S. Legge. 2010. "Public Opinion, Risk Assessment, and Biotechnology: Lessons from Attitudes toward GMO Foods in the European Union," Review of Policy Research 27(1) (January): 59-76.
  • Robert F. Durant. 2009. "Getting Dirty Minded: Implementing Presidential Policy Agendas Administratively," Public Administration Review 69(4) (July-August): 569-585.  
  • Robert F. Durant, Amanda Girth, and Jocelyn Johnston. 2009. "American Exceptionalism, Human Resource Management, and the Contract State," Review of Public Personnel Administration 29(3): 207-229. 
  • Robert F. Durant. 2009. "Theory Building, Administrative Reform Movements, and the Perdurability of Herbert Hoover," American Review of Public Administration 39(4): 327-351 (lead article).   
  • Robert F. Durant. 2009. "Back to the Future? Toward Revitalizing the Study of the Administrative Presidency," Presidential Studies Quarterly 39(1) (March): 89-110.
  • Robert F. Durant. 2008. "Sharpening a Knife Cleverly: Organizational Change, Policy Paradox, and the 'Weaponizing' of Administrative Reform, Public Administration Review 66(2) (March-April): 282-294.
  • Robert F. Durant. 2007. "Toxic Politics, Organizational Change, and the 'Greening' of the U.S. Military: Toward a Polity-Centered Perspective," Administration & Society 39(3) (May): 409-446.
  • Robert F. Durant. 2006. "Agency Evolution, the New Institutionalism, and 'Hybrid' Policy Domains: Lessons from the 'Greening' of the U.S. Military," Policy Studies Journal 34(4) (November): 469-490 (lead article).
  • Robert F. Durant. 2006. "A 'New Covenant Kept: Core Values, Presidential Communications, and the Paradox of the Clinton Presidency," Presidential Studies Quarterly 36(3) (September): 345-372 (lead article).
  • Robert F. Durant and Jerome S. Legge, Jr. 2006. "'Wicked Problems,' Public Policy, and Administrative Theory: Lessons from the GM Food Regulatory Arena," Administration & Society 38(3) (July): 309-334.
  • Robert F. Durant and Jerome S. Legge, Jr. 2005. "Public Opinion, Risk Perceptions, and Genetically Modified Food Regulatory Policy: Reassessing the Calculus of Dissent among European Citizens," European Union Politics 6(1): 181-200.
  • Robert F. Durant, Young-Pyoung Chun, Byungseob Kim, and Seongjong Lee. 2004. "Toward a New Governance Paradigm for Environmental and Natural Resources Administration?," Administration & Society 35(6) (January): 643-682 (lead article).
  • Robert F. Durant. 2003. "Demography as Destiny?: 'Greening,' 'Graying,' and the Human Capital Challenge Facing Environmental Management," Renewable Resources Journal 21(2) (Summer): 6-11 (lead article).   
  • Robert F. Durant. 2002. "Whither Environmental Security in the Post-September 11th Era? Assessing the Legal, Organizational, and Policy Challenges for the National Security State," Public Administration Review 62(Special Issue) (September): 115-123. Selected for reproduction in full on CNNmoney, from the editors of CNN and Money magazine.   
  • Robert F. Durant and Jerome S. Legge, Jr. 2002. "Politics, Public Opinion, and Privatization in France: Assessing the Calculus of Consent for Market Reforms," Public Administration Review 62(3) (May/June): 307-319.
  • Robert F. Durant. 2002. "Toward Becoming a Learning Organization: Outcomes Assessment, NASPAA Accreditation, and Mission-Based Capstone Courses," Journal of Public Affairs Education 8(3): 193-208.

AU News & Achievements

Paul Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service in the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University

Achievements ·

Prolific Author on Public Service to Deliver Levine Lecture

Paul Light, a prolific author on government reform and public service, will discuss “The National Commission on the Public Service at Twenty-Five Years and Counting” at the Fifth Annual Charles H. Levine Memorial Lecture.
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Robert Durant

On Campus ·

Long-time SPA Professor to Retire

Bob Durant, a fixture on the faculty for 11 years and one of the most active researchers in the field, will retire on December 31.
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Robert Durant

On Campus ·

#SPA80for80: Professor Bob Durant

In an era of bureaucrat bashing, Professor Bob Durant has challenged students, scholars, and policymakers to see the nobility of a career as a public manager.
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