Charting three trajectories for globalising public administration research and theory

Shena Ashley, Soonhee Kim, William H. Lambright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Scholars in the field of public administration are operating in an increasingly globalising world in which people and polities enjoy an unprecedented degree of connectivity irrespective of their geographical location. The enormity of the global spread of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has brought this into clear focus. The purpose of this article is to highlight three trajectories for globalising public administration research and theory. The first trajectory is to build generalisable theories to enhance global applicability. The second is to be more inclusive of diverse perspectives in the mainstream of public administration scholarship. The final trajectory is to scale up the lens of inquiry beyond the nation-state to include global governance actors and organisations. Research efforts that test a universal measurement scale of public service motivation demonstrate progress in the direction of generalisable theory. The broad and diverse body of research on electronic government typifies a decisively inclusive research area. At the same time, the expansion of research on policy networks to the global governance context provides an example along the scaling-up trajectory. The three-trajectory approach outlined in this article provides for a more comprehensive understanding of what it means for public administration research and theory to globalise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Public Administration
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • diverse perspectives
  • generalisable theories
  • global governance actors
  • global policy networks
  • globalising public administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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