P16 A closer look at the Defense sector: public administration dilemmas, governance arrangements, and public policy analysis


Karina Furtado Rodrigues, Prof.; Ph.D. , Brazilian Army Command and General Staff College (ECEME) and Laboratory of National Defense Governance, Management, and Public Policy (Lab GGPP) karinafrodrigues@gmail.com

Review Group Chairs 

Temístocles Murilo de Oliveira Junior , Ph.D. , Brazilian Army Command and General Staff College (ECEME) and Laboratory of National Defense Governance, Management, and Public Policy (Lab GGPP) temuju@gmail.com

Luiz Rogério Franco Goldoni, Prof.; Ph.D., Brazilian Army Command and General Staff College (ECEME) and Laboratory of Cyberpower (LPCiber) luizrfgoldoni@gmail.com


Public spending in defense policies is increasing worldwide, as a response to escalating global tensions between nations, and because of the challenges involving the so-called “new threats”, which encompass environmental and cyber sovereignty, transnational crime, the use of the armed forces in public security, terrorism, among others.

However, the fields of public management and public policy seem to be still shy about analyzing national security, national defense, and military institutions. The public policy subsystem has been somewhat relegated to political scientists worried about civil-military relations, and to international relations scholars worried about intrastate conflicts and the world’s power balance. However important, these approaches are insufficient to solve the puzzles regarding the domestic realm of defense and security, such as defense policy formulation, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation, among so many others.

In addition to that, military and security institutions have a myriad of distinctive characteristics, that alter what the literature sees as intrinsic and extrinsic motivations; incentives to share information within their institutions, with varying models of career and motivation structures throughout the world. These distinct features also alter the implementation of democratic values and mechanisms within such organizations, such as transparency - which has more limits than in other policy subsystems, integrity – which notion does not fit in today’s models of military training, and so on.

This panel aims to shed light on these issues, by inviting academia to reflect on national security and national defense, as well as on their constituent institutions. We aim to discuss some of the following questions, but not exclusively:

  • How do peace and war affect the managing and sustaining of public investment and budget in weapons and training and civilian engagement in the policy cycle?
  • Way beyond controlling the military and avoiding coups d’état, do civil society and elected representatives know if their military bureaucracies are effective and efficient?
  • What are the evaluations and measures used? How adherent democratic values and mechanisms such as transparency, integrity, and governance are to defense policies and how should they be adapted to convey these policy subsystem nuances?
  • How defense policymaking, implementation, and evaluation is designed in terms of social participation?
  • How do defense, security, and other institutions securitize cyberspace in terms of public policy as an essential domain of defense in the contemporary world?
  • What are the distinctive characteristics of the armed forces that affect policy implementation as civilians see it?
  • Are bureaucratic reforms needed in the defense sector? If yes, which ones?
  • How does general public administration reform affect the defense sector worldwide? Are defense and security sector reforms a world apart?
  • How do defense and security career structures and incentives affect the defense policy cycle, especially in terms of implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of such policies?
  • How best democratic practices such as transparency, accountability, and integrity can be adapted to the specificities of the defense sector?

The panel seeks both theoretical and empirical contributions that tackle relevant discussions about defense and security policies. The panel format refers to standard presentations (10/15 min), followed by session discussions. As theoretical frameworks, we seek articles that analyze the defense and security policy cycle, specific phases of the policy cycle, applications of theories of governance on subjects related to defense and security, and public administration dilemmas in defense and security-related institutions and organizations. Regarding method and research design, both single-case and comparative studies are welcomed.