Public Administration as a Field of Study: Divergence or Convergence in the Light of ‘Europeanization’?


Tiina Randma-Liiv1, Bernadette Connaughton2


1University of Tartu, Estonia, 2University of Limerick, Ireland



Abstract. As an academic field Public Administration retains its complex identity as a subject that cannot be observed within clearly defined boundaries independent from other disciplines. Despite this the Europeanization of public administration as a profession pro­vides opportunities for the convergence of the study. The article analyses several factors which impact upon both the national orientation to the study of Public Administration and the difficulty in designing a ‘European’ model for Public Administration education. The different state traditions within Europe are discussed leading to various identities of the study of Public Administration and different approaches to its disciplinary, multi­disciplinary or interdisciplinary character. While a limited number of previous studies on the state of the discipline of Public Administration have addressed American and Western European approaches, this discussion contributes to the debate by discussing developments in public administration in Central and Eastern Europe.


Keywords: Public Administration education, Europeanization, comparative public administra­tion