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Virtual Special Issue: Contemporary Theories of Women and Gendered Public Administration and Policy

The theoretical treatment of sex and gender in public administration and policy pose challenging questions that deserve greater attention. In the history of the field, only three symposia focus on women in the public sector: Nesta Galllas’s (1976) Public Administration Review; Maria D’Agostino and Nicole Elias’s (2017) Administration & Society; and Megan Hatch’s forthcoming symposium in the Journal of Public Affairs Education. These symposia provide a starting point for bringing sex and gender into mainstream public administration literature. Likewise, this Virtual Special Issue is a promising next step for increasing scholarly attention on sex and gender issues in public administration theory.

These articles speak to the epistemic and discursive nature of sex and gender at work in public administration and policy. Guy and Azhar (2018) investigate linguistics of emotive expression with a focus on the nuances of gender. Paterson and Scala (2017) explore the relationship between gender mainstreaming and public service values. They explain that public servants utilize discursive strategies, which shape the meanings of both gender mainstreaming and values. Mastracci and Arreola (2016) argue that human resources management practices produce and reproduce outdated gender norms and limit work/life balance. Eleveld (2015) analyzes the framing of Dutch policies on women’s emancipation by exploring the role of statistical data in the reframing process. Rishel (2011) assesses normative considerations surrounding social media in deliberative democratic processes. Burnier (2006) examines Mary Ellen Guy's (2000) narrative of Miss Burchfield’s role in the development of American public administration to identify gender relations surrounding public administration's disciplinary beginnings and how the gendered past speaks to the field today. This collection of works prompts us to rethink the gendered dynamics of knowledge, language, and power in public administration that are ripe for further analysis.

Nicole M. Elias, Assistant Professor and WPS Co-founder
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Maria J. D’Agostino, Associate Professor and WPS Co-founder
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY