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International Pedagogy Conference Invites Public Administration Educators

conference1In 2014, the U.K. Public Administration Committee (PAC) will join with ASPA’s Section on Public Administration Education (SPAE) to host an international conference on pedagogy in public administration. The Annual Teaching Public Administration Conference (TPAC), which brings together researchers, practitioners and professionals from across both the Unites States and Europe, will take place at the University of Liverpool, U.K. from June 9 – 11, 2014.

The conference theme is “Public Leadership in an Age of Austerity: Contestability and Conflict?” The themes focuses on the 2008 collapse of the international banking and finance systems which resulted in a number of immediate social, economic and political crises for public institutions of governance and decision making across North America and the European Union. These crises took on different forms within the different nation states that make up the EU and the WTO. However, we can observe some common themes.

A core theme has been the impact on the authority of representative democratic institutions, such as assemblies, parliaments or congressional centres of authority, and the challenges by outside political groupings on the legitimacy of the idea of the ‘public.’ The public realm remains a contested concept. In an age of austerity, we can see across the advanced economies how public provision, funded by taxation, is increasingly challenged. The question appears to be not whether cuts should be made but rather the pace and scale of the cuts.

These crises also affected public managers, administrators and professionals who work in the public realm or who lead and advise elected politicians, thus creating a crisis of confidence for those who value the ideal of public service. At this conference, we want to examine these themes and to reflect upon some of the key questions raised by these changes.

Paper proposals are being accepted until Friday, February 28, 2014. Notification of acceptance will be provided by Friday, March 21, 2014. The conference seeks papers that address the following themes:

  • Teaching and Learning in an Age of Austerity.
  • Emergency Services: Innovation and Change.
  • Public Administration in an Age of Austerity: Lessons from Nation States.
  • Accountability and Innovation in Public Services: The Role of Elected Officials.
  • City Governance and Urban Renewal: Theorising the Practice of Localism.
  • Early Career Research: Mentoring and Supervision.

We do not think that this is just another crisis of global capitalism. We think that there are long-term implications for those who value and promote the idea of the ‘public’. The response of politicians and broader civil society institutions and agencies suggests that there are a number of profound and long-term changes taking place within the field of public administration or public management. These changes have implications for how we conceptualise the teaching, learning and on-going professional development of practitioners and leaders. Other implications include:

  • How we think of the design and delivery of key public services from those involved in emergency planning to health and welfare provision.
  • How we manage, govern and make decisions at a local, city or regional level.
  • How we theorise notions and concepts of public leadership.

In addition to paper proposals, organizers also welcome proposals for round tables, additional panel discussions and individual submissions.

Swift decisions will be made on early submissions, particularly for any colleagues with travel and other funding application deadlines. Papers and proposals should be submitted to the following individuals:

For questions about the conference visit the website at www.teachingpa.org or email [email protected].

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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