CfP "Digitalization and Governance" of the permanent study group on public policy, EGPA 2018, Lausanne

posted Feb 15, 2018, 4:18 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Mar 17, 2018, 7:32 AM ]

Call for papers


Digitalization and Governance


EGPA Permanent Study Group XIII on Public Policy


Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA)

September 5 – 7, 2018, Lausanne, Switzerland



The EGPA Permanent Study Group on Public Policy provides a platform for the study of public policy in the context of public administration. Its main purpose is to develop and strengthen the ties between the fields of public administration/public management and political science/public policy by bringing scholars from these fields together. The topic of this year’s call for papers concerns the study of the patterns, causes and consequences of the multi-dimensional phenomenon of digitalization at the intersection of public policy and public administration.



Workshop 2018 theme: Digitalization and Governance


As Dunleavy and colleagues pointed out in 2006, we are witnessing an era of information technology (IT)–based changes in management systems and in methods of interacting with citizens and other service-users in civil society. One result of this is an increased digitalization of administrative processes, with implications for how public policies are made, delivered and evaluated by and to individuals and within organizations. In 2002 Mark Bovens and Stavros Zouridis published an article in which they sketched a development from street-level bureaucracy, via ‘screen-level’, to ‘system-level bureaucracy’. Their argument was that the general spread and deep penetration of information technologies in public sector agencies ultimately will lead to fully automated decision-making. One illustration of this is that in several corners of government, such as the tax office and traffic control, the collection, management and analysis of large ranges of data have become a dominant feature of the work involved. Correspondingly, new occupations came up, like those of system designer and data analyst. Communication technologies, too, have rapidly evolved. Internet and so-called ‘social media’ have turned the world into a global village but, simultaneously, altered socio-cultural relationships as well as the ways in which citizens interact with the state.


The workshop of the Permanent Study Group on Public Policy to be held at the EGPA 2018 conference explores these developments, their causes and consequences at the intersection of public policy and public administration at all stages of the policy cycle. This includes, for example, the question of what these and other forms of digitalization mean for the practice of policymaking. For instance, how do information- and communication technologies (ICT) influence the use of discretion in the work of street-level bureaucrats? When is that discretion diminished, and when enlarged? What does it mean for policy advisors working in the civil service at a ministry, when a minster communicates directly with her electorate via Twitter? These are only a few examples of what seems a plethora of pertinent issues caused by digitalization worthwhile to study and reflect on.


The workshop invites both experienced and junior researchers to propose theory-based papers with an empirical and (potentially) comparative character that address questions like these as explicitly as possible, especially when more than a single-case study is involved. One workshop session will be dedicated to the theme of ‘Comparative Digital Governance’ in particular. In this session, jointly organized with PSG XXI on Policy Design and Evaluation and the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, an award will be handed out for the best comparative paper.  


Please upload abstracts through the submission website by April 18, 2018.

Find the full call for papers here