PSG "Public Policy"

 "Welcome to the official newsfeed of the Permanent Study Group XIII on "Public Policy" of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA)! 
The PSG provides a platform for the study of public policy at its intersection with public administration, and has become a major venue for implementation researchers from Europe and beyond. This newsfeed informs about calls for papers and other PSG-related activities in a timely fashion."

PSG chairs:  

Peter Hupe, Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven
Harald Saetren, Department of Administration and Organization Theory/Rokkan Centre, University of Bergen 
Eva Thomann, Department of Politics, University of Exeter

.   .. visit the PSG website and mission statement!                      

Final workshop program for PSG XIII "Public Policies" @ EGPA 2017

posted Aug 11, 2017, 8:24 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Aug 18, 2017, 5:08 AM ]

The final workshop program is now available! The workshop location is:

 Politecnico di Milano’s Bovisa Campus, Via Raffaele Lambruschini 4, Bovisa (MI) Room: BL 27 - 13

We hope to see many of you there.  Don't miss our panel discussion:
Thursday, 31 August 2017 02.00pm-04.00pm
Chair: Eva Thomann, discussants: Shannon Portillo, Nissim Cohen and Marie Østergaard Møller - Google Sites Tweet Button

Draft programme for EGPA 2017, "Equality effects of public policies" now available

posted Jun 20, 2017, 12:26 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Aug 3, 2017, 3:38 AM ]

We are extremely pleased with the high quality and amount (33) of proposals we have received, which enabled us to set up an extremely promising draft programme. This year's workshop at the annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration in Milan will consist of four sessions with paper presentations on the topics of social equity, managing inequality, diversity in policy implementation, and distributive justice. Additionally, this year our study group is organizing a panel discussion which will be open to the broader EGPA audience.

Panel discussion: Public Policies and Inequality: Is it getting any better?
In this panel we would like to discuss how the equality effects of public policies – and our scientific knowledge of it - have developed. The question is then also, what can we do? And how can we communicate our findings in such a way that policymakers (political authorities and civil servants) take steps to address inequalities? We are very happy that we have been able to invite three outstanding experts to address different aspects of inequality at the intersection of public policy and public administration: 

Shannon Portillo, School of Public Affairs & Administration, University of Kansas
Shannon Portillo’s work on social equity, social justice, organizational theory, and law and public management has appeared amongst others in Law & Policy, Administration & Society, Law & Social Inquiry, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory and Public Administration Review.

Nissim Cohen, Department of Public Administration & Policy, University of Haifa

Nissim Cohen’s research about corruption, bribes, informal payments, culture- and incentive-based frontline influences has been published amongst others in Governance, Policy Studies, Public Administration and the American Review of Public Administration. 

Marie Østergaard Møller , Department of Political Science, Aalborg University
Marie Østergaard Møller’s work on how street-level bureaucrats categorize assistance-seeking citizens, stereotyping and the social construction of target groups has appeared amongst others in Public Management Review, Social Policy and Administration and Critical Policy Studies. - Google Sites Tweet Button

Call for papers: Equality Effects of Public Policies

posted Jan 24, 2017, 10:00 PM by Eva Thomann

As Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram have famously noted, public policies often fail to produce equality of citizenship. This is especially relevant at their intersection with public administration: the equal treatment of all citizens is a fundamental pillar of bureaucratic good practice. However, we are living in an age of widening socio-economic and social inequalities, triggered amongst others by economic modernization, globalization and immigration. By collecting taxes, distributing resources, and granting rights, opportunities and access to public services, public policies play a central role in both addressing as well as creating and cementing such inequalities. Actors delivering these policies to citizens may set their own priorities due to performance or political pressure, implicit or explicit biases, incentives and profit-orientation, but also their desire to improve what they consider as meaningless or unjust policy. 

The workshop of the Permanent Study Group on Public Policy to be held at the EGPA 2017 conference explores the role of public policies in reflecting and furthering, as well as addressing and correcting for citizen inequality at all stages from agenda setting to policy evaluation. Its special interest lies in identifying the potential to achieve more equality in the formation and implementation of public policies in order to improve policy performance for all citizens. How can - and should - public policy achieve greater equality of citizenship, and what is the link between policy formation and implementation in this regard? The workshop invites both experienced and junior researcher to propose theory-based papers with an empirical and (potentially) comparative character that address this question as explicitly as possible, especially when more than a single-case study is involved. The aim is to cover a variety of contexts across political-administrative systems and policy fields, and link different stages of the policy cycle. 

Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) 30 August – 1st September 2017, Milan, Italy
Submit your paper proposal until April 10, 2017 via

Final program for 2016 workshop "Policy performance in context" now available

posted Jun 15, 2016, 12:06 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Jan 20, 2017, 11:54 AM ]

Upon receiving no less than 29 paper proposals for this year's workshop at the EGPA conference, we are excited to present the final program consisting of 6 sessions, excellent discussants and  promising papers surrounding the topic of "Policy performance in context". As a special feature, we are organizing a joint session on the comparative study of public policy together with PSG V „Regional and Local Government“  with a particular focus on austerity, local government, and the problem of incorporating context (JKH 0.13, Janskerkhof 2-3). The other five sessions are taking place at USBO 2.20, Bijlhouwerstraat 6. We look forward to seeing you in Utrecht!

Implementation Research and Governance: Directions and Challenges for Future Research

posted May 2, 2016, 9:01 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Jan 24, 2017, 10:04 PM ]

From February 22 to February 25, 2016, Harald Sætren and Peter Hupe gave a PhD-course on implementation research in Mexico City together with Peter May (University of Washington) and Søren Winter (Danish National Centre for Social Research, Copenhagen). The four had been invited by the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE). The last session of the four-day course had a special character. It was a public panel discussion, chaired by CIDE's Provost, Professor Guillermo Miguel Cejudo Ramírez, on the theme 'Implementation Research and Governance: Directions and Challenges for Future Research'.

Online lecture: Beyond Reductionism in the Study of Government-in-Action

posted Apr 7, 2016, 6:30 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Apr 7, 2016, 6:49 AM ]

At the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Potsdam a group of researchers is involved in the study of 'wicked problems'. The WIPCAD team invited Peter Hupe to give a public lecture on April 14, 2015. In his lecture, titled 'Beyond Reductionism in the Study of Government-in-Action', Peter Hupe addressed the structure versus agency problem in the study of government.

Watch the full lecture (33:40 minutes) here!

Call for papers: "Policy performance in context"

posted Feb 22, 2016, 10:19 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Feb 22, 2016, 10:27 AM ]

Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) 24-26 August, 2016, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Policymaking goes on after the policy goals have been decided upon. Even if practitioners are aware of this fact, surprise and even disappointment may follow when the practice of the policy process stays behind the original intentions. The reasons for a perceived gap between intentions and results may be multiple. First, decision-making may entail trade-offs and compromises among a range of values and stakes. Second, a variety of discretionary actors are involved in policy implementation, as legitimately entitled to represent their interests. Third, public functionaries also face situations unforeseen or not intended during policy formation, and beyond direct managerial supervision. Hence, contributing to policy performance goes beyond following the policy-on-paper. Fourth, these factors impact differently on the various societal groups targeted by the policy. Importantly, public policies are embedded in very differing institutional, political, economic and cultural contexts, which affect the extent and ways in which these four sets of factors interact on policy performance. As a result, the effects of policies and instruments may neither be clear-cut nor uniform. 

The workshop of the Permanent Study Group on Public Policy to be held at the EGPA 2016 conference explores the causal factors and social mechanisms contributing to policy outputs and outcomes in varying contexts and inter-organizational settings. What theoretical, methodological and research design approaches may explain empirical variation in policy performance, especially when accounting for contextual variety? The workshop invites both experienced and junior researcher to propose theory-based papers with an empirical and (potentially) comparative character that address the relationship between variation in policy outputs and outcomes and contextual variety as explicitly as possible, especially when more than a single-case study is involved. The aim is to cover a variety of contexts across political-administrative systems, policy fields and types of street-level bureaucracies. 

Abstracts should be uploaded through the submission website by April 15, 2016.

Find the full CfP here.

New mission statement 2016 - 2018

posted Feb 22, 2016, 10:10 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Feb 22, 2016, 10:25 AM ]

The overall goal of the EGPA Permanent Study Group on Public Policy is to develop and strengthen the ties between the fields of public administration/public management and political science/public policy. It is premised on the notion that both fields have something to offer that the other is lacking. While political scientists tend to focus primarily on macro-level dependent and independent variables in cross-national comparison, public administration scholars often scrutinize lower and more operational levels of analysis within a given politico-administrative system. The challenge for comparative studies in general is to integrate and synthesize insights from all relevant levels of analysis. This can foster theoretical, methodological, and empirical advances in both fields. The Study Group aims to provide venues for bringing together scholars within these fields. It provides opportunities to become better acquainted and establish networks that promote joint research projects and stimulate cross-fertilization in other respects as well.

Find the full mission statement here.

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