Archive for March, 2011

Utrecht School of Governance (USG)

From April to June, I was ensconced as a Visiting Professor in the USG. It is the number one school of public administration in the Netherlands. The rankings are published by Elsevier (9 October 2010: 86), the Dutch equivalent of the Times Higher Education survey. They are the result of a national survey of academic peers and USG has been top in teaching for the past ten years and in research for the past five years, ever since the research rankings began.

Public Administration

FROM LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO NARRATIVES:  ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF R. A. W. RHODES, Editor, Public Administration, 1986 to 2010. Guest Editor: Patrick Weller

Go to:


1. The Irrepressible Rod Rhodes: Contesting Traditions, Blurring Genres

  John Wanna, Australian National University and Griffith University and Patrick Weller, Griffith University

 2. Was local governance such a good idea? A global comparative perspective

Gerry Stoker

Southampton University

3 The New Orthodoxy: The Differentiated Polity Model

David Marsh

Australian National University

4.  Networks: Reified Metaphor or Governance Panacea?

Tanya Börzel

Freie Universität Berlin

5.  Core Executive Studies Two Decades On

Robert Elgie

Dublin City University

6.  The Whitehall Programme and after: researching government in time of governance.

Christine Bellamy

Nottingham Trent University

7.Whitehall: A Practitioner’s View

Lord Wilson of Didcot

Emmanuel College, Cambridge

 8. From Government to Governance to Governing elites:Rhodes’ contribution to governance theory

Anne Mette Kjær

University of Aarhus

9.  Not odious but onerous? Comparative public administration

Christopher Pollitt

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

10.  It’s Pubic Administration, Rod, but Maybe Not as We know it: British Public Administration in the 2000s.

Christopher Hood

Al lSoulsCollege,Oxford

11 The Study of Public Administration in the United States

Jos Raadschelders

University o fOklahoma

12. Governance Ethnographies: possibilities, pitfalls and purpose

Francesca Gains

University of  Manchester

13.  Interpreting Interpretivism Interpreting Interpretations: The New Hermeneutics of Public Administration.

Colin Hay

University of  Sheffield

14.  Public Administration as storytelling

Mark Bevir

University of California

 15. Thinking on: a career in public administration

R. A. W. Rhodes

University of Tasmania and Australian National University


Public Administration: 25 years of analysis and debate

Public Administration was first published in 1923. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious journals in its field. This collection provides:
• a history of the journal;
• a portrait of its work; and
• a source book of key articles in the field for undergraduates and postgraduates.
Over the past twenty-five years Public Administration has pioneered new approaches and published many leading articles in the field. A mere 12 articles cannot ‘represent’ the scope and coverage of the journal and, inevitably, the editor makes a personal selection. However, these articles are also the most cited articles since 1986 and include prize winners of the best article of the year. They also reflect the changing subject matter of the journal and its shift from a practitioner to an international academic readership. So, Part 1 comprises theoretical articles, Part 2 contains comparative material, and Part 3 focuses on public management.

The articles

  1. Baron Wilson of Dinton, ‘Portrait of a profession revisited’, Public Administration, 81 (2) 2003: 365-78.
  2. Hay, Colin. ‘Theory, Stylised Heuristic or Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? The Status of Rational Choice Theory in Public Administration’, Public Administration, 82(1), 2004, pp. 39-62.
  3. Hood, C., ‘A public management for all seasons’, Public Administration 69 (1) 1991: 3-19.
  4. Klijn, Erik-Hans, Koppenjan, J. and Termeer, K. ‘Managing networks in the public sector: a theoretical study of management strategies in policy networks’, Public Administration 73 (3) 1995: 437-454 1995.
  5. Lowndes, V. and Skelcher, C. ‘The dynamics of multi-organizational partnerships: an analysis of changing modes of governance’, Public Administration 76 (3) 1998: 313-33.
  6. Mulgan, R. ‘Accountability’: An ever-expanding concept?’ Public Administration 78 (3) 2000: 555-573.
  7. Rhodes, R. A. W. ‘The governance narrative’, Public Administration 78 (2) 2000: 345-363 2000.
  8. Scharpf, F. W. ‘The joint-decision trap – lessons from German federalism and European integration’, Public Administration 66 (3) 1988: 239-278.
  9. Stewart, J. and Clarke, M. The public-service orientation – issues and dilemmas. Public Administration 65 (2) 1987: 161-77.
  10. Thoenig, Jean-Claude, ‘Territorial administration and political control: decentralisation in France’, Public Administration 83 (3) 2005: 685-708
  11. Weller, P. ‘Cabinet Government: an elusive ideal?’ Public Administration, 81 (4) 2003: 701-22
  12. Williams, P., ‘The competent boundary spanner’, Public Administration80 (1) 2002: 103-124.



Published in 2011: Everyday Life in British Government

It took far longer than I intended but, at last, it is out.

 As citizens, why do we care about the everyday life of ministers and civil servants? We care because the decisions of the great and the good affect all our lives for good or ill. For all their personal, political, and policy failings and foibles, they make a difference. So, we want to know what ministers and bureaucrats do, why, and how. We are interested in their beliefs and practices. This book ploughs virgin territory in the analysis of British central government because it is an exercise in political anthropology. It reports on the shadowing of ministers and senior civil servants in three British government departments and seeks to answer the question ‘what do they do?’ and to describe their everyday life.