Table of Contents

Public Administration in the Context of Global Governance

Public Administration in the Context of Global Governance

Edited by Soonhee Kim, Shena Ashley and Henry W. Lambright

This collection explores the frontiers of knowledge at the intersection of public administration and international relations scholarship. The culturally, generationally and academically diverse team of editors stake a meaningful claim in this burgeoning field by bringing together an international group of top and emerging scholars who think and research at this intersection. The acceleration of global governance arrangements presents a new sphere of public administration beyond the nation-state, and a new set of challenges for national and local governments that have gone unexplored. Public administration scholarship has essentially ignored the thousands of international and transboundary organizations that have become critical to the creation and implementation of global policy. This book highlights a broad range of research topics and approaches to help illustrate the expansive contours of relevant inquiry and to advance research in the field. There is no other collection that considers the broad context of globalizing public administration and the many institutional and governance forms entailed.

Chapter 13: A case study of the expanding role of the OECD in global health governance: combining public administration and international relations perspectives to identify internal and external drivers

Adrian Kay and Peter Carroll

Subjects: politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy


Over the last decade or so, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has emerged as a key transnational player in comparative health policy analysis despite lacking a formal mandate in this sector. The OECD plays a ‘soft power’ agenda, setting the tone for the administration of health care both in its member states and on the global health scene as well. The OECD dictates policy processes on such issues as overall health system effectiveness, incentives for cost control and clinical quality, the role of private health insurance in public-private funding mixes and remuneration for medical labour. Its work has contributed to the definition of the nature and scale of health policy problems and has indirectly influenced various national health care performance management regimes. This chapter engages the broad question: why has the OECD come to occupy a central role in transnational health policy processes and how is it possible that the OECD challenges the authority of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the de facto global health ministry despite the OECD’s lack of a formal institutional role? In our examination of this question, we seek to advance understanding of change processes in intergovernmental organizations by complementing traditionally system-level oriented perspectives that are prominent in the international relations literature with an organization-level analysis of a diverse range of internal and external dynamics influenced by public administration scholarship.

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