Are government and politics a dichotomy?
In a sense, they are suppose to operate as a dichotomy. Politics is in the realm of elected officials who are charged with setting public policy, while government is in the realm of those employees who are tasked with implementing those policies. The reality is that government and politics are mixed together where one side is constantly attempting to influence the other with their vision of how policies should be shaped and implemented.
Who are the actors involved in shaping public policy?
Public policy is actually influenced by those who are at the forefront of implementing it. Government employees who are charged with implementing government funded programs are regularly asked to provide feedback on these programs through their politically appointed leadership (Secretary, Assistant Secretary, etc.). These leaders than advise the President and Congress and in effect influence future policies based upon the information and recommendations that was provided by the government employees.
What comes to when you hear the words 'public administration'?
Public administration is a profession. Public administration involves individuals that implement the policies, regulations and other legislation enacted by Congress utilizing appropriated funds to support them. Public administrators are also found in the state, municipal and county levels as well and receive their direction and funding from elected officials as well. Public administrators are accountable to their constituents, which include citizens, legislatures, elected officials (e.g., President, Governors, Mayors) and other stakeholders that have an interest in a specific policy area or topic.