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Manuscript deadline
15 March 2021

Cover image - Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration

Special Issue Editor(s)

Victor Lapuente, University of Gothenburg and the ESADE Business School
[email protected]

Kohei Suzuki, Leiden University
[email protected]

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Government capacity, quality, and governance outcomes in the Asia Pacific region

In recent years, scholars in the fields of public administration and political science have “rediscovered” the importance of public bureaucracies for understanding different levels of government performance and broader socioeconomic outcomes (Evans and Rauch 1999, Olsen 2006). There have been increasing number of studies which address the significance of the output side of the political system (i.e. public administration and policy implementation) rather than the input side (i.e. quality of electoral democracy) for favorable outcomes (Rothstein 2009). Recent theoretical and empirical studies have explored, for example, followings:

  • foundations and compositions of quality of government and governance
  • state and bureaucratic capacity
  • cross-national variations in government capacity, quality, and effectiveness
  • the effects of these institutional characteristics on broader outcomes such as socio-economic development , corruption prevention , policy implementation , regulatory quality and entrepreneurship , scientific productivity and innovation, economic activities or infrastructure efficiency , and environmental outcomes

*See references for example of previous studies

While there have been increasing number of studies on government capacity and bureaucratic quality focusing on areas beyond North America and Western Europe such as Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa, relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the Asia Pacific area. Reflecting APJPA’s vision and commitment to promote the study of public governance and administration and management in and beyond Asia and the Pacific, we invite research that makes theoretical or empirical contributions to the study of government capacity, quality, and broader governance outcomes. More specifically, we are looking for papers that address, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • To what extent do concepts such as government capacity, quality of government, and bureaucratic impartiality, which have been developed in the “Western” context, travel to the Asia Pacific region?
  • What are appropriate ways to measure government quality and bureaucratic capacity in the Asia Pacific region?
  • To what extent does government capacity, quality, and effectiveness differ across Asia Pacific countries?
  • How and to what extent do bureaucratic factors lead to governance outcomes in the Asia Pacific region?
  • How do bureaucracies in the Asia Pacific region differ from those in the other regions in terms of government capacity, bureaucratic structures, and effectiveness?

We welcome cross-national, cross-regional, and within-country studies. We also welcome diverse methodological approaches, depending on research question. The format of research papers should comply with the styles of research articles (5,000-9,000 words) of Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration. The special issue editors are happy to comment on ideas that scholars are considering. The Journal’s target audience comprises scholars, policy-makers and managers, including those engaged in education and research in the expanding MPA and DPA communities.



Baniamin, Hasan Muhammad. 2019. "Linking socio-economic performance, quality of governance, and trust in the civil service: does culture intercede in the perceived relationships? Evidence from and beyond Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka."  Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration 41 (3):127-141.

Bauhr, Monika, and Nicholas Charron. 2019. "The EU as a savior and a saint? Corruption and public support for redistribution."  Journal of European Public Policy:1-19.

Boräng, Frida, Agnes Cornell, Marcia Grimes, and Christian Schuster. 2018. "Cooking the books: Bureaucratic politicization and policy knowledge."  Governance 31 (1):7-26.

Brewer, Gene A, Yujin Choi, and Richard M Walker. 2007. "Accountability, corruption and government effectiveness in Asia: an exploration of World Bank governance indicators."  International Public Management Review 8 (2):204-225.

Charron, Nicholas, Carl Dahlström, Victor Lapuente, and Mihaly Fazekas. 2017. "Careers, Connections, and Corruption Risks: Investigating the impact of bureaucratic meritocracy on public procurement processes."  The Journal of Politics 79 (1):89-104.

Cornell, Agnes. 2014. "Why bureaucratic stability matters for the implementation of democratic governance programs."  Governance 27 (2):191-214.

Cornell, Agnes, Carl Henrik Knutsen, and Jan Teorell. 2020. "Bureaucracy and Growth."  Comparative Political Studies.

Crescenzi, Riccardo, Marco Di Cataldo, and Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose. 2016. "Government quality and the economic returns of transport infrastructure investment in European regions."  Journal of Regional Science 56 (4):555-582.

D’Arcy, Michelle, and Marina  Nistotskaya. 2020. "State Capacity, Quality of Government, Sequencing and Development Outcomes." In Oxford Handbook of the Quality of Government, edited by A Bågenholm, et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dahlström, Carl, and Victor Lapuente. 2017. Organizing the Leviathan: How the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats shapes good government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dahlström, Carl, Victor Lapuente, and Jan Teorell. 2012a. "The merit of meritocratization: Politics, bureaucracy, and the institutional deterrents of corruption."  Political Research Quarterly 65 (3):656-668.

---. 2012b. "Public administration around the world." In Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science, edited by Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein, 40-67. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

El-Taliawi, Ola G, and Zeger Van Der Wal. 2019. "Developing administrative capacity: an agenda for research and practice."  Policy Design and Practice 2 (3):243-257.

Evans, Peter, and James E Rauch. 1999. "Bureaucracy and growth: A cross-national analysis of the effects of" Weberian" state structures on economic growth."  American sociological review 64 (5):748-765.

Fukuyama, Francis. 2013. "What is governance?"  Governance 26 (3):347-368.

Im, Tobin, and Youngmi Choi. 2018. "Rethinking national competitiveness: A critical assessment of governmental capacity measures."  Social Indicators Research 135 (2):515-532.

Kyriacou, Andreas P, Leonel Muinelo-Gallo, and Oriol Roca-Sagalés. 2019. "The efficiency of transport infrastructure investment and the role of government quality: An empirical analysis."  Transport Policy 74:93-102.

Lapuente, Victor, and Kohei Suzuki. 2020. "Politicization, Bureaucratic Legalism, and Innovative Attitudes in the Public Sector."  Public Administration Review.

Lee, Soo-Young, and Andrew B Whitford. 2009. "Government effectiveness in comparative perspective."  Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 11 (2):249-281.

Moon, M Jae, and Changho Hwang. 2013. "The state of civil service systems in the Asia-Pacific region: A comparative perspective."  Review of Public Personnel Administration 33 (2):121-139.

Nistotskaya, Marina, Nicholas Charron, and Victor Lapuente. 2015. "The wealth of regions: quality of government and SMEs in 172 European regions."  Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 33 (5):1125-1155.

Nistotskaya, Marina, and Luciana Cingolani. 2016. "Bureaucratic Structure, Regulatory Quality, and Entrepreneurship in a Comparative Perspective: Cross-Sectional and Panel Data Evidence."  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 26 (3):519–534.

Oliveros, Virginia, and Christian Schuster. 2018. "Merit, tenure, and bureaucratic behavior: Evidence from a conjoint experiment in the Dominican Republic."  Comparative Political Studies 51 (6):759-792.

Olsen, Johan P. 2006. "Maybe it is time to rediscover bureaucracy."  Journal of public administration research and theory 16 (1):1-24.

Pierre, Jon, and Bo Rothstein. 2010. "Reinventing Weber: The Role of Institutions in Creating Social Trust." In The Ashgate Research Companion to New Public Management, edited by Per  Lagreid and Tom Christensen, 407-419. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing.

Poocharoen, Ora-orn, and Alex Brillantes. 2013. "Meritocracy in Asia Pacific: Status, issues, and challenges."  Review of Public Personnel Administration 33 (2):140-163.

Povitkina, Matina, and Ketevan Bolkvadze. 2019. "Fresh pipes with dirty water: How quality of government shapes the provision of public goods in democracies."  European Journal of Political Research.

Ramasamy, Ramesh. 2020. "Quality of government, public service delivery and institutional impartiality in ethnically polarised societies: evidence for policy makers."  Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration 42 (1):46-60.

Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, and Enrique Garcilazo. 2015. "Quality of government and the returns of investment: Examining the impact of cohesion expenditure in European regions."  Regional Studies 49 (8):1274-1290.

Rotberg, Robert I. 2014. "Good governance means performance and results."  Governance 27 (3):511-518.

Rothstein, Bo. 2009. "Creating political legitimacy: Electoral democracy versus quality of government."  American Behavioral Scientist 53 (3):311-330.

---. 2015. "The Chinese paradox of high growth and low quality of government: The cadre organization meets Max Weber."  Governance 28 (4):533-548.

Rothstein, Bo, and Jan Teorell. 2008. "What is quality of government? A theory of impartial government institutions."  Governance 21 (2):165-190.

Suzuki, Kohei, and Mehmet Akif Demircioglu. 2019. "The Association Between Administrative Characteristics and National Level Innovative Activity: Findings from a Cross-National Study."  Public Performance & Management Review 42 (4):755-782.

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Submission Instructions

Proposed timeline:

  • November 1, 2020: Submission of abstracts for the special issue:

*Paper proposal (maximum 1,000 words) should be submitted to the special issue editors via email. Submissions are welcome before the deadlines.

  • December 15, 2020: Decision on the abstract communicated to authors
  • March 15, 2021: Complete paper submission via APJPA’s online manuscript submission system

*Submissions are welcome before the deadlines. Manuscripts will undergo the journal’s normal peer review process.

  • September or December 2021: Publication of the special issue

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article