Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Policy Studies

For a Special Issue on

Democratic Backsliding and Public Administration

Manuscript deadline
01 October 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Toby James, University of East Anglia
[email protected]

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Democratic Backsliding and Public Administration

Throughout the world there have been claims and concerns about democratic erosion. According to many indicators, the third wave of democracy petered out early in the century and a global democratic recession is underway.

Despite the prominence of the issue and growth in academic literature, the relationship with public administration has been under-analysed.  Public administration involves the design, delivery and evaluation of public policies at the local and national (but also supranational) level. The quality of public services, economic prosperity as well as human wellbeing are all dependent on the quality of public administration.  Policies can often be designed and implemented with professionalism, the use of expertise and citizen input. But they can also encounter problems of corruption, inefficiency and inequality.  The potential erosion of democratic standards and norms could potentially weaken and erode public administration quality worldwide – causing citizens to have poorer experiences a result.  However, public bodies may have also proven to be a barrier to democratic erosion.

This special issue will consider all questions on the relationship between democratic quality and public administration, including, but not limited to:

  • Conceptual papers:
    • What is the conceptual relationship between key terms such as democratic quality, public administration quality, technocracy and populism?
  • Causal empirical papers:
    • How has democratic backsliding affected public administration, public services and principles of good governance?
    • To what extent has poor public administration been a driver of democratic backsliding?
  • National case studies:
    • What strategies have political leaders and would-be autocrats used to erode professionalism in public bodies?
    • How have populist political parties behaved in office?
    • Have the civil service and public officials acted as accelerants of backsliding? Or have they acted as protectors of democracy, democratic standards and election quality? What have their responses been to attempts at democratic erosion?

Submission Instructions

Papers should follow be between 6,000-9,000 words in length and be submitted through the main Policy Studies portal by 1 October 2024. They will be considered and published on a rolling basis so early submission is encouraged.  Authors are encouraged to contact the editor, Toby James ([email protected]) to notify him of their intention to submit, in order to assist with the planning of the special issue.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article