Public Administration in the Context of Global Governance
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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.
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Chapter 1: Globalization, global governance and public administration

Laurence J. O’Toole


This chapter explores connections between theory, scholarship and practice in the field of public administration, and examines the global contexts in which practitioners operate. Public administration has long focused on national organizations and structures to the detriment of developing theory and practice concerning globalized entities; the field needs to further develop empirics-driven, multileveled-modeling theories that will help those in the field more effectively study public administration in a contextualized environment with the ultimate goal of better understanding burgeoning hypotheses as well as subsequent practical effects. To address these interconnected concerns, I want to first point to some shortcomings in the theory, but also explore some opportunities and pressing research topics that can energize public administration and lead to both theoretical advance and practical understanding. There is myriad public administration theory and research, but by far the key units of analysis are typically agencies – public organizations as part of a state apparatus or a subnational jurisdiction – their managers and, sometimes, frontline workers.

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