TAD14: Themes and Subthemes

The Disciplines and the Study of Public Administration

Transatlantic Perspectives


The 2018 Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD 14) will be held at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, from June 6-8. The theme of this year’s conference is The Disciplines and the Study of Public Administration–Transatlantic Perspectives.

TAD 14 aims to bring together a diverse group of scholars who draw on different theoretical and methodological perspectives to share their latest research and discuss challenges confronting governance and democratic society on both sides of the Atlantic. This conference aims to study in depth the contribution that the many disciplines that constitute Public Administration (PA) as an inter-disciplinary endeavor can contribute to the advancement of PA theory and practice, and to explore the commonalities as well as differences between Europe and the US in the ways in which the various disciplines are employed in the study of PA. To this end, and given the overall conference theme, TAD 14 is organized into the following workshops:

Workshop 1: Behavioral Public Administration and Psychological perspectives

Behavioral public administration seeks to advance public administration research and theory by broadening our understanding of factors that shape the attitudes and behaviors of public employees and citizens. Accordingly, we welcome proposals that evaluate micro-foundations of public management concepts by making use of different streams of research inspired by psychological theory and the behavioral sciences.

Workshop 2: Philosophical, sociological and organization theory perspectives on public administration and public leadership

Public organizations and the individuals who lead and work in them play a central role in good governance and the creation of public value. Sociology ad organization theory are among the disciplines that address these complex issues. We welcome proposals that explore the role that leadership, management practices, work motivations, and other aspects of public organizations play in shaping the performance of public organizations, the quality of governance, and the creation of public value. These themes also demand a wider philosophical understanding of the foundations of administrative action. We then also welcome submissions that probe the intellectual history of public administration and advance public administration theory. In particular, we are keen to attract papers that reflect on the philosophical foundations of PA theory and practice, and that aim to develop our understanding of how philosophy may provide a contribution to the advancement of the study, the practice and the profession of Public Administration and public organization management and leadership. This workshop also welcomes proposals for papers that tackle important epistemological and ethical issues facing public administration as an area of scholarship and professional practice.

Workshop 3: Open government, technology and public administration

Today governments employ a range of technologies to disseminate government information as well as to engage and collaborate with external stakeholders, including crucially citizens and residents. To this end, we welcome proposals that 1) explore ways public organizations are using technology to create public value, 2) identify factors that shape the implementation of open government initiatives or, 3) evaluate the impacts of open government initiatives. Also theoretical papers on the study of how technology changes PA – and the other way around: how PA may determine the development of technology – are most welcome in this stream.

Workshop 4: Public-private partnerships and economic perspectives

Governments are tasked with meeting an ever more complex set of needs of an increasingly diverse set of stakeholders. In response, governments have worked toward identifying more flexible and responsive arrangements for the delivery of public goods and services, including privatization, public-private partnerships, and reliance on NGOs and the nonprofit sector. We welcome proposals that explore how economic theory and the discipline of economics in its manifold streams may enable a better understanding of new service delivery arrangements, and to better identify and evaluate ways governments are partnering with third parties, such as private businesses or nonprofits, in an effort to redesign and improve service provision.

Workshop 5: Governance, accountability and political science perspectives

Complex service delivery arrangements have led to questions over the role democratic accountability processes play in modern public administration. For this workshop, we welcome submissions that discuss the implications of complex service delivery arrangements for the functioning of democratic accountability processes, as well as papers that discuss the role of democratic accountability processes in creating public value. This workshop also welcomes papers that examine various issues at the intersection of contemporary politics and public administration in the US and Europe.