CHINA AUSTRALIA DIALOGUE ON PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
CALL FOR PAPERS
China Australia Dialogue on Public Administration will be holding its seventh annual Workshop at City University Hong Kong on 8-10 June 2017.
The theme for the workshop is:
‘Governance Structures for Performance and Accountability’.
The Workshop is being conducted in partnership with the Public Performance and Management Review (PPMR) journal with a view to publishing a selection of papers in a special symposium in the journal. The audience therefore will go beyond the Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia to academics and practitioners around the world. The PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan represent administrations in different stages of transition, establishing new institutional structures to support the role of government in market economies including in the delivery of efficient and effective services. Australia represents the continuing evolution of institutional structures in liberal democracies addressing continuing challenges of performance and legitimacy in the light of economic and social pressures and increasing community expectations.
The focus is on the institutional arrangements within the executive for advising and implementing policies and programs. It is not an exploration of the basic institutional arrangements of government (the executive, legislature and judiciary, or inter-governmental structures) though these inevitably shape the structures within the executive.
With the Workshop restricted to two days, papers will need to address the theme and sub-themes at a reasonably high level rather than explore detailed governance practices, though case examples may be included to illustrate the underlying governance and performance issues involved. Papers need to do more than describe current practice for example by including analysis of strengths and weaknesses.
Papers should address one of the following sub-themes.
1. Theories of organisational forms and functions in public administration
This sub-theme includes classifying the role and functions of government (vs the market, legislature or judiciary) and designing the governance structures suited to different functions. To what extent have the organisational forms been shaped by the statist or parliamentary democratic framework and the relationship between politics and administration? What has been the impact of New Public Management and New Public Governance (e.g. principal-agent, public choice theory, competition and choice). Papers may explore how each of the countries’ practices currently respond to the theories, the balances they have adopted and how these might be evolving.
Other key questions that could be addressed include: where does power and authority lie; what degree of independence/autonomy do different types of agencies have, and why; and how is autonomy balanced with control stemming from ultimate government ownership and political accountability? How are performance and legitimacy (including conditional trust) assessed?
2. 'Core' executive government agency structures
This may include the organisational structures of core agencies that have responsibility for policy advisory and policy making roles and oversight of program administration. A central issue is the source of their mandate (their authority, functions and priorities) and how that is reflected in their relationship with executive (political) leadership and with the legislature. Examples include central agencies focussed on whole of government policy coordination, fiscal and economic affairs and legal and legislative advice, and major functional departments like development, education, health, transport and communications.
Papers could also address their relationship with non-core or peripheral agencies (e.g. service delivery agencies, regulators, government business enterprises), their organisational culture, staffing arrangements and relations with major stakeholders and experts. Papers may be able to draw on statements from insiders/interpretivist evidence; they should not just be statistical case studies.
3. Public service delivery structures
The focus of this sub-theme is service organisations (separate from ‘core’ executive agencies in sub-theme 2) that deliver public services. Issues include their relationship with ‘purchasing’ or funding bodies and the executive (political) leadership and the legislature. The governance structures (including empowered or advisory boards) and the performance management regimes are important features of these organisations, as are their links if any to complementary or competing private or not-for-profit providers of public services. Case examples may include schools and hospitals.
Within the overall framework identified above, questions could include: who makes decisions about reliability, timeliness and quality of the services to be delivered; how are decisions made whether to deliver internally as opposed to going to external providers for provision; how much authority do organisations have over the allocation and management of resources; and how do clients/customers get a voice in the services they receive.
4. Other ‘non-core’ executive government agencies
This sub-theme includes the structures used for the delivery of commercial services by governments (state owned organisations), regulatory organisations and ‘integrity’ organisations. How do these different types of organisations relate to the core agencies, the executive leadership and the legislature? What if any performance regime operates and to whom are they accountable for that performance (including consumer and public accountability)? Are there significant differences in a statist system v parliamentary democratic system; how have their roles changed over time and what has caused these changes? Given the very broad field this sub-theme encompasses, papers should be at a high level, exploring major trends in governance arrangements and the key issues involved.
Abstract proposals should identify the relevant sub-theme being addressed. They should be no longer than 500 words, in English, and should be submitted by 24 March 2017 to one of the following:
- Professor Hon Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Professor Andrew Podger (email@example.com)
- Professor Meili Niu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Professor Tsai-tsu Su (email@example.com).
Selections of papers for the workshop, based on the abstract proposals, will be decided by 7 April 2017 and final draft papers (around 4,000-5,000 words) must be submitted by 20 May 2017.
Presentation of selected papers at the Workshop will be in English and limited to 15 minutes to ensure there is good opportunity for informed discussion. It is important that papers can be circulated to participants in advance.