British public administration: The status of the taught discipline

Karin A. Bottom*, Ian Elliott, Francisco Moller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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A sizeable literature on the history of British public administration (PA) centres on the teaching of the subject. Indeed, a secondary literature explores the history of the discipline and much of this points to fragmentation and a perceived decline of the subject; the causes of this decline largely being seen as external. However, an alternative reading suggests the discipline’s resistance to change sowed the seeds of its perceived demise. Here, an analysis of postgraduate PA education in Britain is presented and we map the discipline’s educational offer in HE. While key programmes have been discontinued, the number taught in mainland Britain and Northern Ireland has increased. Our analysis presents PA as a multidisciplinary subject, showing the seeds of development. Despite retaining a commitment to traditional teaching material, an integration of less traditional subject matter is evident. This suggests a slow but growing cognisance of the discipline’s need to modernise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Teaching Public Administration
EditorsKarin A. Bottom, John Diamond, Pamela T. Dunning, Ian C. Elliott
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Print)9781800375680
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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