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Call for Proposals_Public Administration: Context and Innovation (Fudan University, 20190622)

发布时间: 2018-11-16     浏览次数: 657

Call for Proposals

Public Administration: Context and Innovation

June 22-23, 2019

Fudan University




European Group for Public Administration (EGPA)
 Asian Group for Public Administration (AGPA)
 Dr. Seaker Chan Center, SIRPA, Fudan University

Institute for Global Public Policy, Fudan University

Global China Studies Project, City University of Hong Kong


Background and conceptual framework

Innovation is a crucial theme for Public Administration (PA) all over the world. Studying the relations between innovation and PA (innovation in PA, and the role of PA in economic and social innovation) is a priority for researchers as well as policy-makers. However, the global significance of the topic must not lead to ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches that overlook local differences. PA is embedded in distinctive and diverse “contexts”. The cultural, political and administrative contexts shape PA, the ways in which it works and the ways in which it may be changed (Ongaro and van Thiel, 2018; Ongaro, 2017; Pollitt, 2013; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2017).

It is, therefore, of great significance to study the relationship between Innovation and contexts in PA from a comparative perspective. This project aims at comparing the European and the Chinese, or more broadly Confucian, contexts and the ways in which they affect PA innovation.

Innovation may be defined as a form of deliberate, or at least managed, socially purposeful change aimed at attaining something that otherwise would not be achieved, by leveraging on the possibility to do new and different things, to do the same things in different ways, or to enable a different meaning to be given to something. In PA, thus, innovation may be found in three domains. The first is product innovation such as delivering new public services or initiating new policies. The second may be referred to as process innovation, which for example can be seen in the case of public management reform to deliver “more with less”. The third domain concerns innovation of meaning to accompany societal changes. This happens, for example, when public interventions occur during the development of the internet to articulate the social meaning of technological progress and to frame values and perceptions within which economic and societal actors operate.

Based on this framework, innovation may be conceptualised in a fourfold way as follows:

1) innovation as public sector/ administrative/ public management reform at the level of the public sector in its entirety or large portions of it, and of government-wide processes and routines (for example, public personnel policies, or the diffusion of performance management systems in the public sector);

2) innovation at the micro-level, by which we mean something akin to the notion of strategic renewal at the level of individual public organisations and policy networks;

3) innovation in the economy as enabled by PA; and

4) innovation in society as enabled or facilitated by PA.

Points 1) and 2) articulate innovation as reform and strategic renewal of the public sector, which exerts an impact on PA and facilitates its development, while points 3) and 4), on the contrary, outline the role of PA as agent or enabler of economic and societal innovation respectively.

Point 1) conceptualises innovation in a broader sense as the reform and deliberate change of the configuration of the public sector, its administrative and management systems. Point 2) refers to individual or network-level innovation (a local authority, a school, a hospital, a public agency, etc.) and is based on the notion of strategic renewal at the level of individual organisations as conceptualised in Ferlie and Ongaro (2015), which considers strategic management as rooted in the social environment at large and as context-sensitive.

Most of the extant studies on public sector innovation have focused on two levels of innovation – public sector reforms as ways of changing the configuration of the public sector (innovation at the macro-level), or innovations proper at the micro-level (and oftentimes centred on micro-level factors as the explanatory framework). The current literature has paid attention, for example, to the role of leadership, learning, networking, feedback and accountability in triggering, developing and sustaining innovation in public administration over time. Context is nearly always excluded from the picture, or at best in the background. Moreover, although there is a growing number of studies from China, most studies are Europe (e.g. Bekkers and Tummers, 2018), or US based. This research project aims at bringing the ‘missing link’ (Pollitt, 2013), namely context, to the fore of the picture to empower our understanding of how context and contextual features affect PA innovation.

Point 3) and 4) change focus and consider PA – in the way in which it is influenced by the political, administrative and cultural context – as enabler and facilitator of innovation in the economy and society more widely. PA is a key agent of innovation, as shown in the case of how the Confucian administrative tradition enabled economic innovation (Drechsler, working paper).

In the perspective taken in this research project, “innovation” is contextual. “Context”, theorised amongst other as “administrative paradigm”, “administrative culture”, “administrative tradition”, “political-administrative regime”, or “reform trajectories”, may constitute the explanatory framework. Context is a broad range of potential factors that, combined with more micro-level factors, explains PA innovation.

The conceptual framework is illustrated in the following figure.



The conference is hosted by Fudan University on its campus on June 22-23, 2019.

Proposals should be submitted to (pa_innovation@fudan.edu.cn) by Feb 15, 2019. Acceptance decisions will be announced by Mar 1, 2019. No registration fee will be required.

The host will cover meals and tea/coffee during the conference.

Publication Plan

A number of outlets for publication will be considered. Papers presented at the conference will be considered in the first instance for publication in Public Policy and Administration (PPA), in regular issues of the journal or in possible dedicated symposia or special issues of PPA.

PPA is currently ranked 15th out of 47 in the field Public Administration, with an Impact Factor of 2.438 released in 2018.

Edited books will also be considered, notably for the series: Governing China in the 21st Century (Palgrave) and Institutional, Policy and Administrative Change (Elgar).

Co-chairs (in alphabetical order)

Ting Gong, City University of Hong Kong

Yijia Jing, Fudan University

Edoardo Ongaro, Open University of UK, European Group for Public Administration


Ting Gong is Professor in the Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong, and Distinguished Chair Professor in the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. She received her MA and PhD from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, USA. She is the author of the first English book-length study of China’s corruption, The Politics of Corruption in Contemporary China: An Analysis of Policy Outcomes (Praeger Publishers, USA). She edited two more books on corruption in Asia in 2009 and 2017 respectively. Her most recent book, Corruption Prevention and Good Governance in Hong Kong, co-authored with Professor Ian Scott, will be published by Routledge (UK)in 2019.In addition to books, she has also published articles extensively in leading academic journals. Her articles appeared, for example, in Governance, Regulation & Governance, Journal of Contemporary China, International Public Management Journal, Social Indicators Research, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and Pacific Review. In addition, she has co-edited eight symposia for international refereed academic journals. She currently serves on the editorial boards of several top academic journals including Governance, Public Administration Review, and Policy and Politics. She have received prestigious grants and awards from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC), Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, U.S National Endowment for the Humanities, American Political Science Association, and American Association of University Women.


Yijia Jing is a Changjiang Scholar and Seaker Chan Chair Professor of Public Management at School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. He conducts research on privatization, governance, collaborative service delivery, and comparative public administration. He is the director of the Center for Collaborative Governance Research at Fudan University and vice director of the Dr. Seaker Chan Center for Comparative Political Development Studies. He edits Fudan Public Administration Review (editor-in-chief), Public Administration Review (associate editor, 2015-2017), International Public Management Journal (co-editor) and Palgrave book series---Governing China in the 21 Century (founding co-editor). He serves as a vice president of International Research Society for Public Management and an associate dean of School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University.


Edoardo Ongaro is Professor of Public Management at The Open University, UK. Previously he held positions at Northumbria University as Professor of International Public Services Management and SDA Bocconi School of Management and Bocconi University, where he still serves as Visiting Professor of Management of International and Supranational Organizations. Since September 2013 he has been the President of EGPA, the European Group for Public Administration. Since January 2015, he has served as editor of Public Policy and Administration (with Keith Baker and Claire Dunlop). He has published extensively on the topic of administrative reforms and comparative public management. His works include The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe (Palgrave, 2018, co-edited with Sandra van Thiel); Public Administration in Europe: The Contribution of EGPA (Palgrave, 2018, editor); Philosophy and Public Administration: An Introduction (Elgar, 2017); Strategic Management in Public Services Organizations: Concepts, Schools and Contemporary Issues (2015, Routledge, co-authored with Ewan Ferlie); Multi-Level Governance: The Missing Linkages (editor, 2015, Emerald); andPublic Management Reform and Modernization: Trajectories of Administrative Change in Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Spain (2009, Elgar); also published with Elgar are: Governance and Intergovernmental Relations in the European Union and the United States: Theoretical perspectives, 2010, and Policy, Performance and Management inGovernance and Intergovernmental Relations: Transatlantic Perspectives, 2011 (both co-edited with Marc Holzer, Andrew Massey and Ellen Wayenberg).Professor Ongaro has served on various academic and expert committees and has contributed to numerous international research projects. Edoardo holds an MPhil from the London School of Economics and PhD from King’s College London. He is Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of the United Kingdom.




de Vries, H., Tummers, L., & Bekkers, V. (2018). The diffusion and adoption of public sector innovations: a meta-synthesis of the literature. Perspectives on Public Management and Governance.Perspectives on Public Management and Governance.

Drechsler, W. (2016). The Reality and Diversity of Buddhist Economics (With Case Studies of Thailand, Bhutan and Yogyakarta). Working Papers in Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics no. 69.

Ferlie, E., & Ongaro, E. (2015). Strategic management in public services organizations: Concepts, schools and contemporary issues. Routledge.

Ongaro, E. & van Thiel, S. (2018). The Palgrave handbook of public administration and management in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Ongaro, E. (Ed.). (2017). Philosophy and public administration: An introduction. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Pollitt, C. (Ed.). (2013). Context in public policy and management: The missing link? Edward Elgar Publishing.

Pollitt, C., & Bouckaert, G. (2017). Public management reform: a comparative analysis-into the age of austerity. Oxford University Press.