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Networks in Public Administration. Current Scholarship in Review
Public Management Review (2014)
  • Jesse D. Lecy, Syracuse University
  • Ines A. Mergel, Syracuse University
  • Hans Peter Schmitz, Syracuse University

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 (1) policy formation, (2) governance and (3) 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.

  • Network research in public administration,
  • policy networks,
  • citation analysis,
  • snowball sampling,
  • governance
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jesse D. Lecy, Ines A. Mergel and Hans Peter Schmitz. "Networks in Public Administration. Current Scholarship in Review" Public Management Review Vol. 16 Iss. 5 (2014)
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