Part of the Solution or the Problem? Reimagining Public Administration in Turbulent Times

click here to view a PDF of the Call for Proposals

The 33rd Annual Meeting of the Public Administration Theory Network will explore the role of public administration in confronting contemporary social, political, economic, and environmental challenges. Such challenges include but are not limited to climate change, increasing political and economic inequalities, the rise of finance capitalism and surveillance states, and the erosion of democracy. We ask scholars and practitioners to consider the historical role of public administration in the development of these challenges as well as the prospective role of public administration in turbulent times. The challenges range in scope from the global to the local, and, after more than a decade, the Public Administration Theory Network returns to a European city to engage in a constructive dialogue with scholars across the world to think about ways to address them.

The Program Committee requests proposals that consider the role of public administration at any scale – from ministerial civil service to street level practices – in the rise, as well as the amelioration, of these and other threats. Such proposals should explore the relationship between politics, the corporate sector, public administration, and the discretion of public bureaucrats, as well as the relationship between public administration and civil society. We invite proposals that reflect upon historical practices and theoretical concerns, that envision how the state can facilitate civic participation, or that more generally explore the role of public administration, policy, and governance in these challenging times. We welcome a broad scope of papers that include diagnosis and critique as well as attempts to analyze potential roles and solutions. Such analyses and solutions can be theoretical, moral, empirical, or practical.

Submission Details

To submit a proposal, click here
(Form submission requires a Google account. For other submissions, please email

Panel proposals should include a maximum 150-word abstract of the panel theme, the names of all participants and their affiliations, as well as 100-word abstracts of all papers included in the panel.

Paper proposals should include the title of the paper, author names and affiliations, and a maximum 150-word abstract of the paper to be presented.

Roundtables should include a maximum 150-word description of the roundtable subject and a list of participants. Roundtable formats can be used for author-meets-critics sessions.

Completed papers will be eligible for a special issue of Administrative Theory & Praxis. All papers will go through the journal’s normal peer review process. Submissions also are encouraged to the Dialogue section, which is a space in the journal for conceptual ideas, discussion, and commentary. 

Key Dates

1 August 2019 Call for Proposals opens
31 October Call for Proposals closes
1 December Notifications sent
1 December Registration opens
15 February 2020 Program Schedule distributed
1 April Early registration closes
1 May Deadline for commitment to participate
1 May Online registration closes
15 May Final program posted
11–14 June 2020 PA Theory 2020 at Malmö