"In order to provide solutions to future problems in the public sector, it is necessary for the academic field of Public Administration to re-invent itself."
The public sector in our society has over the past two decades undergone substantial changes, as has the academic field studying Public Administration (PA). In the next twenty years major shifts are further expected to occur in the way futures are anticipated and different cultures are integrated. In the volume 'European Perspectives for Public Administration' prominent scholars put forward research strategies and focus on priorities in the field of Public Administration. Read our short interview with co-editor Geert Bouckaert.
Can you briefly and concisely explain in plain language what your book is about?
Societies change, and their public sectors do so accordingly. That implies that the academic field of Public Administration (PA) which studies how public service spaces in societies function, should also adjust, change, and anticipate these societal changes. This book is about how the academic field of PA could and should change in the next twenty years.
What or who inspired you to choose this topic?
The so-called Minnowbrook Perspectives in the US, which look into the future of the public sector and the field of PA. The Minnowbrook Perspectives are organised every twenty years (1968-1988-2008) by the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and already celebrated their 50th anniversary. This book is the start of their European counterpart which will be organised every other decade: in 2018, 2038, 2058, and beyond.
Do you have any reading suggestions to share (books, blogs, journals, ...) for anyone who wants to know more about the subject?
The American version, the Minnowbrook, celebrated its 50th anniversary. This is the weblink >
How did the writing process for this book go? Did you experience anything surprising, funny or strange during the realization of the book?
In the run-up to this book we organised four seminars and a concluding conference on the occasion of the 2018 conference of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) in Lausanne. The four seminars (in Leuven, Potsdam, and Strasbourg) dealth with the four pillars of the book (futures, culture, disciplines, and practice) respectively.
What would you like readers to remember about your book?
In order to provide solutions to future problems in the public sector, it is necessary for the academic field of Public Administration to re-invent itself. Copying research and teaching strategies of the past will not solve future problems and challenges.
Do you have plans for another publication? What will it be about?
We anticipate for this strategic reflection to be continued by the European Group for Public Administration for the years 2038, 2058, and beyond.