Finer, Herman

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FINER, HERMAN (1898–1969), U.S. political scientist. Born in Herţa (Gersta) Bessarabia, Finer was taken to England as a child and graduated from the London School of Economics where he lectured on public administration from 1920 to 1942. He was actively involved in Labour Party politics and London local government work as a member of the London School of Economics group of academics centered around Sidney and Beatrice Webb and Harold *Laski. From 1946 to 1963 he was professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Finer was one of the first to introduce comparative politics and public administration as academic subjects in universities. His massive Theory and Practice of Modern Government (1932) was a model for textbooks on comparative politics and served as an introduction to a generation of political scientists. He acquired fame by his Road to Reaction (1945), a polemical answer to Hayek's Road to Serfdom. Written in Finer's characteristically pungent style, this book defended national planning and the welfare state as not inconsistent with democracy. His other works include English Local Government (1935), The Presidency: Crisis and Regeneration (1960), and Dulles Over Suez (1964).

[Edwin Emanuel Gutmann]