The International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance
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The International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance

Edited by Andrew Massey and Karen Johnston

The International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance is a ground-breaking volume with eminent scholars addressing the key questions in relation to how international governments can solve public administration and governance challenges in an increasingly globalized world. With international coverage across Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America, the authors adopt contemporary perspectives of governance, including public policy capacity, wicked policy problems, public sector reforms, the challenges of globalisation and managing complexity. Practitioners and scholars of public administration, public policy and public sector management will be better informed with regard to the issues and structures of government and governance in an increasingly complex world.
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Chapter 4: Executive governance and its puzzles

R.A.W. Rhodes and Anne Tiernan


The phrase ‘executive governance’ refers to the merger of two discrete bodies of work, the study of executive government in political science and the study of governance in public administration. We focus on their intersection – on common ground and shared puzzles. We start with a brief account of the several approaches to executive studies in political science, and of the various waves in the study of governance. We cover the core executives of Westminster and Western Europe parliamentary polities. After this conspectus of the literature, we devote most of our attention to the shared puzzles where executive studies and governance intersect. We focus on four puzzles: predominant or collaborative leadership; central capability or implementation; formal or informal coordination; and political accountability or webs of accountabilities. We conclude with some suggestions about directions for future research under the headings of the interpretive turn, court politics and presidential studies.

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