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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

Longitudinal perspectives on local, central and supranational public bureaucracies

Alternative title: Longitudinelle perspektiver på lokale, sentrale og overnasjonale byråkratier

Awarded: NOK 1.1 mill.

As a result of administrative reforms, public bureaucracies are exposed to regular internal reorganizations such as departmental mergers and divisions. They also face frequent changes in political or administrative leadership, and must adapt to the impact of large-scale crises (e.g., pandemics) or broader societal developments (e.g., digitalization or immigration). To understand how such internal and external events affect the functioning of public administrations, it is crucial to study the same staff members or the same units at multiple points in time. This project’s network activities therefore aim to bring together multiple international research groups developing dynamic research perspectives on public administrations. Only by adopting such a longitudinal perspective can we learn more about the causes and consequences of individual- as well as organization-level change over time.

While the majority of public administration scholarship continues to rely on cross-sectional research designs (i.e. comparing multiple staff members or public agencies at one point in time), a growing group of scholars is pushing for the study of public administrations from a dynamic perspective. This project’s network activities aim at bringing together this fragmented landscape of international research groups. By providing a framework to establish links and connections between existing individual efforts – in terms of datasets, methodological tools and theoretical perspectives – the project will enable crucial strides towards comparative research, the generalizability of empirical findings, and novel theoretical developments. As such, it provides a critical push towards a ‘temporal turn’ in public administration research.

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam