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Article by O’Leary among esteemed journal's 75 most influential

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

An article co-authored by a University of Kansas distinguished professor has been named one of the most influential public administration studies of the past 75 years. The article recommended changes in how local, state, federal and international public institutions design and implement processes for citizens to participate in government decision-making.

The article, “The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government,” was published in Public Administration Review (PAR) in 2005 and was co-authored by Rosemary O’Leary, Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration with Lisa Blomgren Bingham and Tina Nabatchi.

The authors analyzed the legal infrastructure authorizing public managers to use processes to collaborate with the public and suggested a selection of quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial “new governance” processes that could be used. They concluded that the field of public administration needs to address public processes in teaching and research to help the public sector develop and use informed best practices.

The American Society for Public Administration, which publishes PAR, celebrated its 75th Anniversary by having the PAR editorial board select the 75 most influential articles since the journal’s inception. The PAR editorial board chose the articles after an eight-month process of data collection, reflection, and deliberations. The board reviewed a variety of data sources (e.g., citations, reprints, awards) related to articles they have published. The board also drew upon their professional experience and judgment in arriving at the selections.

“More than 3,500 articles have appeared in PAR so having our article selected as one of the 75 most influential is quite an honor,” said O’Leary.

Also on the list is a 1987 article “Accountability in the Public Sector: Lessons from the Challenger Tragedy,” written by Barbara S. Romzek and Melvin J. Dubnick while they were Associate Professors at the University of Kansas. The final list of 75 articles includes two Nobel Prize winners, Herbert Simon and Lin Ostrom.

The 75 articles were announced officially at the 75th anniversary conference of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), which convened from March 14-17, 2014 in Washington, D.C. However, the award ceremony and reception to honor the 75 most influential articles and their authors was held at the 2015 ASPA National Conference in Chicago, Illinois, during PAR‘s 75th anniversary year.

The articles are available on PAR‘s 75th anniversary website: http://publicadministrationreview.org/full-list/.


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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