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Chris McInerney

1 Contemporary challenges for public administration Introduction For public administration this is a time of great challenge and opportunity. In the wake of an unprecedented economic collapse the potential exists to renew public administration, creating the conditions for ‘reforms to public administration that typically face opposition from advocates of pure private-­ sector management approaches’. It also provides an opportunity ‘for public administration to reassess and reassert itself of the guarantor of law and order in all sectors (including the economic

in Challenging times, challenging administration
Chris McInerney

5 The evolution of public administration in Ireland Introduction Having explored some of the broader challenges facing public administration in Ireland and having discussed some of the conceptual elements of the relationship between public administration and social justice, attention now turns to practice of public administration in Ireland and its engagement with social justice issues. To set a context for this, this chapter first looks at the evolution and main characteristics of public administration in Ireland, highlighting particular elements that may

in Challenging times, challenging administration
Author: Mary Venner

The reconstruction of Kosovo after 1999 was one of the largest and most ambitious international interventions in a post conflict country. Kosovo was seen by many international actors as a ‘green fields’ site on which to construct the government institutions and practices they considered necessary for future peace and prosperity. For a while Kosovo was close to being a laboratory for the practice of institution building and capacity development. This book looks beyond the apparently united and generally self congratulatory statements of international organisations and donors to examine what actually happened when they tried to work together in Kosovo to construct a new public administration. It considers the interests and motivations and the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major players and how these affected what they did, how they did it, and how successful they were in achieving their goals. Although in general the international exercise in Kosovo can be seen as a success, the results have been uneven. Some public administration institutions perform well while others face ongoing challenges. The book argues that to a significant extent the current day performance of the Kosovo government can be traced to the steps taken, or sometimes not taken, by various international actors in the early years of the international intervention.

Peter Triantafillou

2 Critical approaches to public administration and management Introduction This chapter provides an overview of some of the key approaches available to grasp critically contemporary public-management and governance reforms. By ‘critical’ I am referring to an examination of the shifting ways in which power is exercised over and through the public sector. My aim is to identify the framework able to render intelligible how and why – by what governing mechanisms, norms of conduct and modes of reasoning – government started more or less systematically to fold back

in Neoliberal power and public management reforms
Chris McInerney

7 Social justice and public administration in practice Social justice in practice Introduction Having explored some of the broader issues of social justice understanding, disposition and capacity in the last chapter, this chapter now moves on to look at a number of more specific cases, which provide some indications of how social justice is viewed within public administration. Each case study addresses a particular theme as well as exploring a specific empirical experience. Firstly, an instance of the use of agencies as a vehicle to achieve social justice

in Challenging times, challenging administration
Chris McInerney

8 Towards a social justice agenda in public administration Introduction The discussions presented thus far in this book converge into a single, powerful, though insufficiently heard argument, namely, that social justice in Ireland or elsewhere cannot be achieved if the machinery of the state, the public administration system, does not explicitly place a commitment to social justice at its core. Irrespective of the strength of advocacy of civil society organisations or of the occasional impetus provided by individual political leaders, ambitions for social

in Challenging times, challenging administration
Chris McInerney

6 Assessing the state of social justice in Irish public administration The state of social justice Introduction Earlier chapters have presented the various arguments put forward to justify a more active role for public administration in designing and promoting a social justice agenda. Having articulated at least some of ways in which social justice might be conceived, this chapter now turns its attention to exploring the state of social justice in Irish public administration. Inevitably, given the size and scale of the public sector, this does not take the form

in Challenging times, challenging administration
Chris McInerney

2 The role of public administration in promoting and protecting social justice Role of public administration in social justice Introduction For some, the notion of articulating a more specific and clearly constructed role for public administration in promoting social justice is unnecessary. Arguments about the essentially unbiased and neutral role of public administration are advanced as a means of countering calls for a more activist approach in favour of social justice. Accompanying this are perspectives that locate responsibility for social justice within

in Challenging times, challenging administration
The role of public administration in producing social justice in Ireland
Series: Irish Society
Author: Chris McInerney

This book explores the relationship between public administration and social justice in Ireland. It argues that public administration, at a variety of levels, is challenged to consider its unique and potentially far reaching role in designing and delivering social justice outcomes. Locating this discussion within recent social and economic events in Ireland, it draws on a variety of historical and contemporary sources to stimulate reflection on social justice and its relationship with public administration and public policy. Building on this, the book explores some of the recent policy and practice of public administration institutions, presenting the views of those within the administrative system as well as those who closely engage with it on issues of justice, poverty and social inclusion. From this it concludes that while some isolated examples of good practice exist, there is little evidence to indicate that the public administration system, now or in the past, sees social justice as one of its central responsibilities. This book is original in focusing on the role of the administrative system as a social justice actor in its own right, with its own dispositions and value systems. In taking this approach the book establishes a conceptual and practical justification for public administration to be proactive in pursuing social justice outcomes and presents a series of conclusions pointing towards ways in which a more active, justice oriented, public administration could be fostered.

The dynamics of compound bureaucracies

This book introduces international bureaucracy as a key field of study for public administration and also rediscovers international bureaucracy as an essential ingredient in the study of international organizations. Firstly, the book systematically compares behavioural dynamics within a carefully selected number of international bureaucracies. The focus is on studying these dynamics within international bureaucracies at the actor level - that is, by studying the behaviour and roles as perceived by the officials themselves. The book outlines a conceptual map of four generic behavioural dynamics that are likely to be evoked by these officials: intergovernmental, supranational, departmental and epistemic dynamics. Essentially, the Westphalian international order dominated by the intergovernmental dynamic is challenged to the extent that international bureaucracies embed supranational, departmental and epistemic dynamics in everyday decision-making processes. Admittedly, there are no guarantees that these dynamics always materialise in the actors' behaviour and ultimately in the decisions reached by international organisations. However, they serve as cognitive and normative frames for action, rendering it more likely than not that particular decision-making dynamics are associated with certain behavioural patterns. Secondly, the book illuminates some causal factors that may help to explore the conditions under which different behavioural dynamics are manifested in the behavioural and role perceptions of the incumbents of international bureaucracies. Essentially, the authors do not propose to 'test' the four dynamics outlined above in a rigorous manner. They serve more as 'searchlights for illuminating empirical patterns in our data'.