International Public Management Network (IPMN)

Conferences & Workshops
Call for Papers: IPMN 2018 Bergen Conference PDF Print E-mail


Organizing for societal security and crisis management. Building governance capacity and legitimacy



Department of Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen

and Uni Research Rokkan Centre


Conference organizers: Professor Per Lægreid and Associate professor Lise H. Rykkja


September 20-21


Venue: Scandic Bergen City Hotel, Bergen, Norway


The world is characterized by turbulence, crises and unruly problems, oftentimes increasing a ‘fear factor’ in citizens. At the same time, threats and crises have always been upon us in one form or another. This makes crisis management and societal security important for political leaders as well as public administration. Dealing with crises is a core responsibility of governments and public sector executives. They often strike at the core of democratic governance and thereby challenge both governance capacity and governance legitimacy. Crises are increasingly transboundary, they are unpredictable, demand rapid response, and often arouse public criticism and debate. Planning and preparing for the unexpected and unknown, dealing with ambiguity and insecurity, responding to urgency and at the same time addressing citizens’ expectations is a crucial, but difficult task for the bureaucratic public administration.


Academic research on how to design public administration and evaluate means to protect citizens against crises, transboundary threats and collapse of critical infrastructure is limited. Instead of studying unsettled situations and crises, public administration research has focused more on stable and routine situations. Our conference aims at addressing this gap by examining questions of how to organize for crisis management in the public sector. This means examining the relations between causes of and characteristics of different types of crises, investigating how well prepared public organizations are, how they handle certain crises, what the main lessons learned from such crises are, and how crises affect accountability issues, citizens’ trust in government. and the legitimacy of crisis management organizations.


The conference highlights governance capacity and governance legitimacy in societal security and crisis management in the public sector. A core argument is that both organizational capacity and legitimacy is crucial. The conference will address organizational capacity by focusing in particular on the coordination of public resources, as well as regulatory, delivery and analytical capacity. The conference will emphasize legitimacy by exploring the importance of public perceptions, attitudes, support and trust in government arrangements for crisis management. The aim is to examine crisis management across several cases and identify relevant dimensions concerning capacity and legitimacy across different countries.


Societal security and crisis management is a particular “wicked problem” where coordination between actors and organizations with different tasks and perceptions is crucial, but often met by resistance. The problem transcends organizational borders, policy areas and administrative levels, necessitating action as well as coordination at the local, the regional, the national and the supranational level. Wicked problems are typically complex, involving multi-level and multi-sectoral actors, and create challenges as well as opportunities for political actors and public servants. The knowledge base is typically uncertain, and goals, priorities and solutions are ambiguous. Public organizations face important capacity constraints in their effort to handle these complexities.


Crisis management policies are often framed within specific institutional, political and organizational settings or contexts. Thus, the organizational layout of the societal security and crisis management field matters. Crises typically challenge existing patterns of organization and management, they do not fit easily into established organizational contexts, and are often framed and reframed. Decisions on how to organize, regulate, prepare and respond to crises ultimately concern values and are therefore inherently political and not merely technical issues. The politics of crisis management, involving sense-making, decision-making, meaning-making, coordination, accountability, and learning is central. This also means that the relationship between prevention, preparation, response and recovery is essential.


Furthermore, organizing for societal security and crisis management by governments implies possible conflicts between different sets of administrative norms and values. Economy and frugality are important values, but so are also fairness and organizational resilience. Decisions on how to deal with threats and crises in the future have repercussions for the public and for citizens. After the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, many countries introduced new security measures against terrorism, fueling debates about the balance between democratic and societal values on the one hand and a demand for increased protection on the other. This conference aims to examine these dilemmas and tensions in different settings.


We seek high quality papers examining issues concerning how governments organize for societal security and crisis management, addressing governance capacity and governance legitimacy. Papers can be descriptive or explanatory, should have a clear conceptual and theoretical basis, and meet advanced methodological standards for research. Comparative papers (across countries, types of crises or crisis phases) are particularly welcome, as are papers that address the relationship between capacity and legitimacy in crisis management. Examples from both high and low income countries are welcome, including from fragile and conflict affected states that may be living in nearly a constant state of crisis.



Keynote: Professor Arjen Boin, University of Leiden: Organizing for transboundary crises.


Paper proposals: Should be submitted to Professor Per Lægreid ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by February 15. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by February 28. Please be advised that participation is limited.


Financial support: In line with the IPMN practice, we assume responsibility for most on-site costs for incoming conference participants. There is no conference fee. The coverage of the conference organizer will include accommodation for two nights (September 19-21), breakfast and lunch at the conference site and a conference dinner. Participants are expected to cover their own travel expenses.


Conference web site: TBA

2017 IPMN: Call for Papers PDF Print E-mail

International Public Management Network 2017 Conference

17th -18th Aug 2017, Shanghai, China


In an era of economic globalization and informatization, public institutions worldwide are required to provide higher quality public service and social welfare in response to demands from citizens. However, authorities face unprecedented challenges in fulfilling these expectations, contributing to growing public discontent and suspicion toward public sectors in many countries.


On the one hand, many traditional reform initiatives have led to undesirable, unintended outcomes rather than improving performance and public accountability. On the other hand, officials and public management scholars increasingly realize that it is necessary to develop innovative approaches and governing capacity, to cope with the tough challenges under the growing complexity of economic and political governance. Accordingly, innovative solutions have become pervasive in both public and private sectors. Such innovation is expected to speed up reforms and improve governance, particularly in the cities across the world.


From this perspective, we need to share ideas, experiences and knowledge of new theories and good practices to learn from each other around the world.

The theme of this year’s conference is:

“Reform, Innovation and Governance: Improving Performance and Accountability in the Changing Times”.


The submitted papers are suggested to address one of the following sub-themes:



Sub-theme 1: How to Implement Reform Strategies of State and Local Authorities

Strategy implementation is a critical issue in public management. In many unitary systems, strategy implementation through a top-down approach is often constrained by vested interests, collusion and lack of political will, which will lead to failure of reform. We welcome papers sharing theoretical contributions and empirical evidence related to this issue.


Sub-theme 2: How to Promote Innovations in Public and Private Sectors

It is believed that innovation is an important driver for regional and national development. There are many factors promoting or hampering innovation, such as institutions, resources, capacity and motivation. Public enterprises or other institutions may block innovation. It is essential to design specific mechanisms and networks to inspire or promote innovation. Papers on analyzing the lessons or implications of good practice and proposing comprehensive solutions are welcome.


Sub-theme 3: How to Improve Governance through Reform and Innovation

A sound governance system is a milestone in a state’s modernization, which requires well-designed systems and structures, a high level of capacity, and appropriate mechanisms to achieve the goal of governance. In order to draw legitimacy by improving performance and accountability, both the public and private sectors should play appropriate roles in the governance system. Either theoretical or empirical papers in this area are welcome.


Sub-theme 4: Urban Governance: Past, Present and Future

With accelerated urbanization, more than half of the population in the world live in urban areas and this proportion continues to increase. However, all kinds of urban challenges have been emerging and are becoming serious, such as climate change, environmental pollution, traffic jams, and social risks. Improving urban governance is central to achieving the overall good national governance, which is an important topic in academic research. This sub-theme will be co-organized by China-America Association for Public AffairsCAAPA. We particularly encourage panel proposals on environmental governance and big data analysis in the urban governance.


Proposal Submission

We encourage proposals that reflect multiple approaches to the study of the fields. This would include papers that approach the theme and sub-themes of the conference from different perspectives including the theoretical, philosophical, synthetic and empirical. Theoretical and empirical papers, particularly comparative studies across different jurisdictions either in the same or different countries are encouraged.

Proposals should be submitted via the mailbox: IPMN2017@163.COM. Accepted papers in this conference will be organized into symposia in International Public Management Journal or International Public Management Review and other academic journals after going through the peer review process. Those papers published in IPMR will be revised for publication as part of a book titled Reform, Innovation, and Governance across the World with Information Age Press or Emerald. Best Paper Award will be issued in the conference.

Paper proposals shall have a length of approx. 1,000 words. Each proposal should include information on the following issues: analytical framework and research question, methods, empirical evidence, expected results, and expected contribution to the knowledge in theory and/or practice.

Papers shall not exceed 9,000 words, incl. all references. Please follow the style guidelines of the International Public Management Journal. However, in order to save paper space, please use 11-point typeface (preferably Times Roman font), single-spaced.



Important Dates

Proposal submission: March 31, 2017


Notification for abstract acceptance: April 20, 2017


Full paper submission and registration: July 20, 2017


Registration: Aug 16, 2017


ConferenceAug 17-18, 2017


Conference Hosts and Fees

International Public Management Network, School of International and Public Affairs, China Institute of Urban Governance, and Center for Reform, Innovation and Governance (CRIG) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University will host the International Public Management Network 2017 Conference on Aug 17th-18th, 2017 in Shanghai, China.


There is no registration fee. The conference will cover accommodation and local meals for all conference participants with papers accepted (only one of the authors can get this allowance for co-authored papers). A social program will be arranged to visit the new Administrative Citizen’s Service Center in Shanghai’s Xuhui district. See:



Keynote Speakers


s. kelman


Steven J. Kelman, Weatherhead Professor of Public Management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, with a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, he is the author of many books and articles on the policymaking process and on improving the management of government organizations. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2001, he received the Herbert Roback Memorial Award, the highest achievement award of the National Contract Management Association. In 2010 the American Political Science Association awarded him the Gaus Prize, which honors a lifetime of achievement in public administration scholarship. He currently serves as editor of the International Public Management Journal. During his tenure as Administrator, he played a lead role in the Administration's reinventing government effort.


p. laegreid


 Per Lægreid, Professor in public administration and organization theory at the University of Bergen since 1992. He is the head of the research group on “Political Organization and Multi-level Governance” at the Department of Administration and Organization Theory. He also served as the head of department and research leader at the Norwegian Research Centre in Organization and Management. He has been involved in several big research programs on administrative reforms and public administration in general in Norway such as the first and second Norwegian Power Study. He was a co-editor of Scandinavian Political Studies, and is an editorial member of several leading international journals, like the Norwegian Academy for Science and Letters. He is also the secretary treasurer of the executive board of the IPSA’s Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government (SOG). He has been the co-convenor of the EGPA Study Group on“Governance of Public Sector Organizations and was the co-convenor of the EGPA study group on “Productivity and Quality in Public Sector".




Richard Walker, Professor of City University of Hong Kong. He is Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences with responsibility of research and postgraduate studies and is Director of Laboratory for Public Management and Policy. He is a member of the editorial boards of a number of journals including Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration, and Public Administration Review, Public Management Review. He served as a Board Director of the Public Management Research Association (2007-2011) and is currently a Board Member of the International Research Society for Public Management. He was awarded a Chair Professor in Public Management in 2013. Prior professorships have been at the University of Hong Kong, and Cardiff University (UK).


Committee chairs:

Jiannan Wu

Distinguished Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Clay Wescott

President, International Public Management Network

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it m


Academic Committee:

Chan, Hon, City University of Hong Kong

Choi, Heungsuk, Korea University

Ear, Sophal,Occidental College

Im, Tobin, Seoul National University

Jing, Yijia, Fudan University

Kelman, Steven, Harvard University

Kotchegura, Alexander, Russian Presidential Academy

of National Economy and Public  Administration, Moscow

Lægreid, Per, University of Bergen

Liu, Bangcheng, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Liu, Junqiang, Sun Yat-sen University

Moon, M. Jae, Yonsei University

Murdock, Alex, London South Bank University

Podger, Andrew, Australian National University

Riccardo, Mussari, University of Siena

Roberts, Alasdair, University of Missouri

Roberts, Nancy Naval, Post Graduate School

Schedler, Kuno, University of St Gallen

Thompson, Fred, Willamette University

Walker, Richard, City University of Hong Kong

Wang, Wen, Rutgers University-Newark

Wright, Bradley E, University of Georgia

Wu, Xun, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Yang, Kaifeng, China Renmin University

Yang, Yongheng, Tsinghua University

Zhao, Zhirong Jerry, Minnesota University

Zhu, Xufeng, Tsinghua University