Theme

2017 Transatlantic Dialogue

Hosted by the Department of Public Administration, the Institute for Public Management and Community Service and the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs

Florida International University

Miami, Florida, 5-8 April 2017

Sustaining a Democratic Public Sector in an Era of Multiple Challenges and Constraints

During the course of the past year, governments on both sides of the Atlantic have witnessed a series of unusual, and in some cases, unanticipated but highly significant political events. Taken together, these events have represented both past, and undoubtedly future, challenges to the sustaining of effective public management and responsive government more generally. Indeed, in some cases, these events have even raised significant concern as regards the stability of democratic government in some countries of both North America and Europe.

The 2017 Transatlantic Dialogue, which will be hosted by the Department of Public Administration, the Institute for Public Management and Community Service and the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs of Florida International University, on behalf of both the American Society for Public Administration and the European Group on Public Administration and which will take place on April 5-8, 2017 in Miami, Florida, will address topics relevant to the issues involved in the sustaining of both an effective public sector and democratic governance.

Within the context of the theme noted above, there will be five sub-themes which are as follows:

  1. Adapting to or Overcoming Fiscal Constraints
  2. Maintaining Democratic Values in Challenging Times
  3. Encouraging and Sustaining Diverse and Inclusive Societies
  4. International Migration, Changing Demographics and the Rise of Intense Nationalism
  5. Managing Organizations to Provide Quality Public Service

Paper proposals are sought on each of the four subthemes noted above as well as the broader dialogue theme of “Sustaining a Democratic Public Sector in an Era of Multiple Challenges and Constraints.” In that regard, we have intentionally, in establishing the theme for the 2017 Transatlantic Dialogue, sought to go beyond the often somewhat narrowly focused and highly specific themes that characterize many conferences on public administration and sought instead to look at not only issues directly impacting effective public management, but also the broader context within which the public sector on both sides of the Atlantic must function. Nevertheless, both the general conference theme and the four sub-themes are all ones which lend themselves to analysis in terms of such traditional concerns of the field as improving human resource management, effective use of performance indicators, strategies for administrative innovations and building public-private partnership.

The theme and sub-themes of the Conference do, however, reflect the very strong belief of the organizers that the context in which the public sector functions profoundly impacts its ability to deliver effective public services and that too often discussions of public administration are so narrowly focused as to not address those issues that most significantly impact public sector functioning. Given this reality, the organizers encourage papers that reflect multiple approaches to the study of the field. This would include papers that approach the theme and subthemes of the conference from many different perspectives including theoretical, philosophical, synthetic and empirical. This reflects the fact that it is important for the discipline of public administration to let a thousand flowers bloom.