Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mellen, Robbin B., Jr.

Committee Member

French, P. Edward

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

Chamberlain, James A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


This thesis explores the legitimacy of the academic field of public administration and the subield of public budgeting. The intellectual foundations for each, established largely by the early writings of Woodrow Wilson, are analyzed in order to better understand the ways Wilson influenced and impaired the development of theory and practice of public budgeting at the federal level of American government. The thesis is divided into three parts. The first segment addresses the theoretical frameworks and research methods used throughout. The second segment discusses the impact of Wilson on the founding, growth, and development of public budget theory and practice within the academic institutions of public administration and budgeting. The final segment provides findings and recommendations based on the research. An opportunity emerges for scholars willing to reconsider popular institutional beliefs regarding the legislative and executive branches’ roles when budgeting at the federal level of government.