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Approaches to Relationality in Public Administration and their Implications for Policy Analysis

Governance
Government
Political Theory
Public Administration
Public Policy
P012
Koen Bartels
University of Birmingham
Koen Bartels
University of Birmingham

Building: Faculty of Law, Floor: 1, Room: FL120

Thursday 09:00 - 10:40 (08/09/2016)


Abstract

The concept of relationality is increasingly used in public administration. It provides a new analytical perspective which differs distinctly from existing individualist and holist approaches. Relational approaches have emerged in a range of disciplines as important for understanding the dynamics of social processes, particularly in the context of new modes of social interaction and new networked, institutional forms. In public administration, relational analyses are particularly suitable for explaining network governance and participatory governance by moving away from theories grounded in traditional institutional forms. They also offer the potential to add to existing interpretive theories by incorporating a strong place for power relations in political dynamics. However, there is a wide range of conceptions of relationality, which has been used in many different ways in political science. This panel will ask what relationality is and how researchers can adopt a relational approach in administrative analysis. Papers will canvass a variety of approaches to relationality and demonstrate how they have been employed in the study of public administration. Presenters will explain their own understanding of the concept of relationality and explain how it has been utilized as an analytical framework, from its theoretical bases to methodological applications. This may also include considerations of how relationality has been developed in other disciplines, such as economics, philosophy, and sociology. The panel has three primary aims: 1) to generate a discussion that moves towards establishing typologies of relational analysis, 2) to consider the implications of these relational approaches for policy analysis, and 3) reflect on what a relational perspective in public administration might look like and what it, itself, may have to offer to policy analysis in general.

Title Details
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