Conference 2023

We are extremely excited to announce that our next conference will be held "in the flesh" in beautiful Budapest, Hungary from 3 to 5 April 2023.

Be sure to check this page over the coming weeks for regular updates. For now, be sure to save the date: 3 - 5 April 2023.

We can’t wait to see you in Hungary in 2023!


Conference 2023 Theme:

United or divided? Public value(s), Management and Governance in turbulent times

External shocks and crises, whether emanating from the natural, economic or international political environment and impacts the realm of public governance, historically deemed to be once-in-a-lifetime events, are increasingly becoming recurrent or even part of “business as usual”. Practitioners and academics alike are making increased efforts at finding ways to prepare governments to tackle such crises and operate robustly under such unexpected and extreme conditions. At the same time, crises represent moments when taken for granted values and ways of doing things come to be re-discussed, re-considered, and re-prioritized, and conflicts, and differences emerge starkly, to bring about re-prioritization, the building of new compromises, and ways of governing and organizing public services and policies. In parallel to these tendencies, other types of tensions and crises created by existing and new societal cleavages cutting across individual societies are becoming more and more visible, too. These chasms, created or exacerbated by diverse mechanism and actors ranging from populist politics and social media to hostile foreign governments, frequently mirror fundamental divisions along key values within societies. They may give rise to new conceptions of the public space, and of ways of governing and managing it, which more closely reflect the plurality of perspectives in our societies, and translate it into stronger forms of accountability, engagement and interaction between citizens and governments. Yet, in other cases, they may also undermine the legitimate and sound operation of public institutions and policies and call into question the societal values and principles governing key policy areas, crucially weakening societal trust and thus the governability of societies. These trends are further strengthened and exacerbated by an increased use of social media, and more generally, by processes of digitalization which have come to become increasingly pervasive. Whereas these trends appear in diverse geographical and political contexts, their implications on public management has, thus far, received limited scholarly attention, despite their critical importance.

In addition to the numerous questions of general relevance for the field of public management the conference thus welcomes, in particular, panels investigating questions related to the causes, processes, consequences and remedies of the above, complex set of phenomena:

  • What are the conditions, mechanisms, and processes creating socio-political, cultural or other types of value conflicts into “game-changing” cleavages in public governance?
  • What are the implications of such division for public policies and institutions, their operations and the outcomes they produce?
  • What are the actual and possible responses to these trends, and how do contextual factors influence the dynamics of fundamental value conflicts affecting public governance?
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