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 14: The emergence of governance capacity in global policy implementation: evidence from managing transnational public health crises

Allen Yu-Hung Lai


Network governance among organizations underpins a working relation in which each participating organization works toward a common mission, or complementary goals (Bryson et al., 2006; Emerson et al., 2012). Therefore, it matters how an organization is oriented and guided in the network. From the literature, such capacity of dominating governance directives can be relevant to a number of factors such as politics, leadership, organizational culture and/or organizational goals. In this chapter, I term such capacity ‘governance capacity.’ Governance capacity matters to an organization in extreme events because crisis changes the way things are perceived. In crisis, an opportunity subsequently arises to potentially bring about significant policy changes (McGuire and Silvia, 2010; Waugh and Streib, 2006). What makes the governance situation more complex is that each participating sector always has a unique organizational interest to define public crises that are shaped by its mission, training background, political commitment, rhetorical issues or prior experience (Ansell and Gash, 2008; Comfort, 2007; Lai, 2014). However, very little literature looks into the fundamental question of how governance capacity emerges in a networked environment at the organizational level. Furthermore, the existing empirical research on governance capacity, both in public management literature generally and network governance specifically, is drawn from single-case study or event-based research that overlooks governance capacity building in crisis from comparative perspectives.

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