Welcome to the
Public Administration Theory Network

The Public Administration Theory Network is an international network of scholars and professionals concerned with the advancement of public administration theory. The Network was formed in 1978 by a group of colleagues who sought an alternative venue to develop and talk about public administration theory.


The Network formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the State of Montana on November 8, 2011 and adopted formal bylaws by which the organization is now governed. To satisfy formal banking needs and IRS filing requirements the bylaws were re-stated with minor adjustments in July 2012. To view the current bylaws, visit: Public Administration Theory Network Bylaws (2013).

Core Activities

The Public Administration Theory Network organizes a prestigious annual conference every spring.

The PA THEORY NETWORK 2016 Conference “Important Immeasurables and Public Administration Theory” will be held in San Antonio, Texas on May 20-22, 2016.

To register for the conference, visit: Registration.

The Public Administration Theory Network publishes Administrative Theory & Praxis, the organization’s peer-reviewed academic journal.

2016 Conference Recap

The Public Administration Theory Network held its 2016 annual conference from May 19th through May 22nd in San Antonio, Texas. A pre-conference workshop for PhD students included sessions on: organizing a research agenda, communicating with unfamiliar audiences, and preparing a job talk. Throughout the conference, panel presentations addressed the theme “Important Immeasurables” from a variety of theoretical perspectives and social contexts. The two plenary events addressed barriers to humanistic social science research, and structured inequality and its persistence in the theories, policies and practices of public administration.

What members say

Thomas J. Catlaw
Thomas J. CatlawFrank and June Sackton Professor, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University; former editor, Administrative Theory & Praxis
“For more than 30 years the Public Administration Theory Network has been the home of critical dialogue and scholarship in public administration and policy studies. Indeed at many times, it has been the very conscience and intellectual heart of the field—keeping alive vital questions about democracy, power, and alternative ways of understanding.”
Dr. Brandi Blessett
Dr. Brandi BlessettRutgers University-Camden
“The Theory Network has challenged me to think beyond traditional public administration perspectives. The discussions are wide ranging and insightful and have forced me to re-conceputalize normative PA theory with a critical lens.”
Hugh T. Miller
Hugh T. MillerFlorida Atlantic University; Author of Governing Narratives: Symbolic Politics and Policy Change
“At Patnet, they put the philosophy back into the Ph.D. Patnet is the place to go to appreciate a wide spectrum of ontologies, deontologies, epistemologies and deconstructed presuppositions. For such high falutin’ theory, though, it’s quite down to earth.”

Our Members

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