Call for papers: The role of civil servants


In the 21st century, public organizations are increasingly complex in terms of multiple institutional rules, norms and practices, constituting a difficult challenge for civil servants to define appropriate identities, roles and relationships.  In this call for papers we wish to draw attention to the roles of civil servants within increasingly complex public sector organizations.

Suggested, although not exclusive, research questions to be addressed in the special issue are:

  • What is the nature of public administration considering increasing institutional complexity in terms of persistent bureaucratic traditions, new public management solutions, participatory ideals, activist sentiments among officials etc.?
  • What are the consequences of this institutional complexity for the possibility of preserving a coherent, rule-governed public administration and what does public mean today in public administration?
  • What types of roles are civil servants playing in relation to different institutional rules and norms and various actor categories (politicians, citizens, organizations) and how do they handle frictions and conflicts?
  • What type of role conceptions of civil servants are developing, including public service ethics? What alternative and contending role-conceptions and ethics are prevalent and supported?

We welcome empirical, theoretical, and conceptual papers related to these questions, wherein focus could be on transnational, governmental, regional, or local levels. Papers should reflect on the Scandinavian context, thereby including a discussion of how key findings relates to civil service within the Scandinavian countries.

Guest editors: Tom S. Karlsson, School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg, Jan Olsson, Political Science, Örebro University

A letter of interest in participating in the special issue together with an abstract (250-300 words) of the proposed paper should be sent to the guest editors by March 1st 2017. All papers will be subject to regular double-blind peer review. Deadline for submission of full paper: June 30th 2017.

Contacts for further information or issues with respect to the special issue:

Tom S. Karlsson, Assistant Professor in Public administration, School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg;

Jan Olsson, Professor in Political Science, Örebro University;

Posted: 2016-10-20

Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413