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15 October 2021
Public Administration in Authoritarian Regimes
Every year for at least the past decade the statistics from organizations such as Freedom House show that the number of authoritarian political systems are increasing, and even those that remain democratic appear less democratic. This decline in democracy around the world is lamentable from a political and human rights perspective, but it raises important research questions for scholars in public administration. Do we know enough about how public administration functions in authoritarian regimes? What can we gain by more systematic investigations of public administration in those countries?
Many if not most of the questions that occupy students of public administration are premised on its functioning within a democratic political system. For example, the familiar Wilsonian and Weberian models of public administration used in most democratic countries assume that elected political leaders should make policy decisions, which would then be implemented by a politically neutral public service. Those models assume a separation between politics and bureaucracy that may simply not be possible in an authoritarian system. This may be true whether the authoritarian regime is based on a hegemonic political party, personalistic leadership, or populism.
Therefore, the Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration is organizing a special issue on public bureaucracies in authoritarian regimes, based on the Guest Editorial published in the March 2021 issue (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rapa20/current). This special issue is designed to advance knowledge about bureaucracy in these systems, and to compare public administration in these systems with those of more democratic regimes. In so doing we expect to expand the coverage and explanatory capacity of comparative public administration. Possible topics for papers include, but are not limited to:
- Accountability of Bureaucracies in Authoritarian Regimes
- Political Control over Personnel Management in Authoritarian Regimes
- Are Public Bureaucracies in Authoritarian Regimes Really that Different?
- Patronage Appointments in Authoritarian Regimes
- Comparing Authoritarian Regimes and their Bureaucracies
- Bureaucratic Autonomy in Authoritarian Regimes
- The Performance of Authoritarian Bureaucracies
- Policy Advice by Bureaucracy in Authoritarian Regimes
- Decision-making in Authoritarian Bureaucracies
- Public Service Motivation in Authoritarian Bureaucracies
- Democratic Backsliding and Public Administration
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Proposals for papers should be submitted by June 1, 2021 to:
Professor B. Guy Peters
Maurice Falk Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Pittsburgh
Scholars whose proposals are selected for review will be notified by June 15, 2021. Papers should be submitted for review by October 15, 2021. Submissions may range from 6,000 words to a maximum of 9,000 words and follow the style (APA, 7th Edition) of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration.
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