Welcome to the International Research Society for Public Management

May 19th, 2020

As the current President of IRSPM, I recently recorded an update on decisions made at our board meetings on 21 and 22 April 2020, particularly in regard to our 2021 conference.

This message can be viewed HERE.

The way forward for IRSPM

The board has agreed that there is an exciting opportunity to make this a genuine turning point for IRSPM by taking time to consider the future course of our Society. In addition to some immediate issues that we need to address in regard to membership, we also have a chance to think in detail about our future conferences, including in the light of climate change concerns, and to think strategically about what kind of society we want to be. We have agreed to enter into a process during the remainder of 2020 and will be seeking input from members and friends as we do this.

In line with this major decision the board has agreed to a number of initiatives, designed to:

  1. The establishment of 3 working groups:

        (a) membership/finances, chaired by Wouter Vandenabeele (Treasurer)
        (b) conferences, chaired by Joris Voets (Conference Manager)
        (c) strategy, chaired by Jenny Lewis (President)

  2. Convene these working groups as soon as is possible, including a minimum of 2 other members of the board.

    -- Membership working group --

  3. Examine different membership models and systems for IRSPM to manage membership and bring proposals to the board as soon as possible. Current membership ends on 15 May 2020 but we will extend this until we have agreed on a new model.

  4. Related to this, we will discuss with Routledge whether they are willing to enter into a more beneficial deal for IRSPM. The current contract expires on 30 June 2020 so this is an urgent matter.

    -- Conference working group --
  1. Approach several providers for information/costs of digital platforms for hosting conferences and bring proposals to the board as soon as is practicable. We should have this in place by July 2020 in order to be ready for a digital conference in April 2021.
  1. Propose to the board a model for future physical conferences and other digitally enabled events and bring proposals to the board as soon as is practicable.

    -- Strategy group --

  2. Work with members and potential members to identify a longer-term strategic direction for IRSPM by the end of 2020.
  1. Employ an experienced executive to support the 3 working groups and the society more generally, on a project basis and within our budget.

We have the chance to use this situation to keep and enhance the things that are valued by IRSPM members, but to also change some things that need updating to suit the circumstances that international research societies find themselves in. The IRSPM board has decided to take this chance.


I look forward to working with the board, and IRSPM members and friends over this next year to ensure that IRSPM survives and thrives.


Jenny M Lewis, IRSPM Presidet

Professor of Public Policy
University of Melbourne, Australia