In the first days of September, participants from more than a dozen countries will present 24 papers during the 2015 Annual conference of the International Public Management Network (IPMN). The extended abstracts of all submitted papers have been reviewed by the program chairs and their designates to ensure that accepted presentations match the conference theme, are based on sound research design and address the most pressing and timely debates on governance.
This year, the conference’s focus has been further shaped by the location of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Here, 25 years after the Berlin Wall went down, we take stock of what happened during a generational change of the post cold war era. In Central and Eastern Europe, the mixture of tremendous progress and disappointment in the slow development of the modern welfare state has resulted in new ways of developmental path finding. For example, in a context of continued austerity and major limitations for conventional public management responses, the role of both civil society and other actors working with (not just for) the public sector is becoming more important. There is a growing literature on New Public Leadership which picks up on some of this. Namely, you no longer ‘control’ the resources nor even commission the response from others, rather the challenge is to ‘lead’ when, like Gandhi, your only leverage may be espoused values, a clear example and persuasion.
IPMN’s 2015 conference, being hosted in the hub of Central and Eastern Europe, Budapest, will explore how public management could be redesigned for the future to better address these new challenges. What would it look like? Who would be involved? How would it function and operate? Will some academic disciplines/methods be more useful than others as guides to operating public programs and/or building the capacity to deliver services going forward? If so, what are they and why?
Apart from finding intellectual stimulation in the discussions and conference activities, we honestly hope that our guests will have time to explore Budapest (or even participate in the optional tour to Lake Balaton and the world famous Herend Porcelain Manaufactory), one of the most thrilling capitals of Europe. Budapest offers not only a spectacular location, tremendous cultural heritage and architecture but a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere with all the attractions of a world class city.
On behalf of the Program Committee we wish you a memorable stay in Budapest!