Networks in Public Administration: Current Scholarship in Review
Jesse D. Lecy
Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Ines A. Mergel
Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Hans Peter Schmitz
Syracuse University - Department of Political Science
July 1, 2012
Network-focused research in public administration has expanded rapidly over the past two decades. This rapid growth has created come confusion about terminology and approaches to research in the field. We organize the network literature in public administration using compact citation networks to identify coherent subdomains focused on policy formation, governance and policy implementation. We trace how these domains differ in their approach to defining the role of networks, relationships and actors and to what extent the articles apply formal network analysis techniques. Based on a subsequent content analysis of the sample articles, we identify promising research avenues focused on the wider adoption of methods derived from social network analysis and the conditions under which networks actually deliver improved results.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: network research in public administration, social network analysis, policy networks, citation analysis, snowball sampling, governanceworking papers series
Date posted: July 2, 2012 ; Last revised: February 14, 2013
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