Public administration, public management and governance

Robert Pyper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter introduces and contextualizes public administration, public management and governance as key concepts with fundamental structural and operational implications for government and public policy. It sets out a historical perspective on the paradigm shifts encapsulated in the movement from public administration to (new) public management to governance, while arguing for the continued importance of public administration as an overarching paradigm. It summarizes the consequences and implications of these shifts, and categorizes the major academic and political critiques of the theory and practice contained within the paradigms. The need for caution regarding uncritical acceptance of supposed international ubiquity, or even national consistency, is stressed and significant divergence from assumed ‘norms’ in certain parts of the globe and, over time, within certain states, is noted. Finally a series of ‘sub-concepts’ is examined in order to determine the extent to which they represent significant refinements and developments of the major themes, or have the status of passing fads and fashions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance
EditorsAndrew Massey, Karen Johnston
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781781954492
ISBN (Print)9781781954485
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2015


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