Rethinking public administration and the state: a Foucauldian governmentality perspective
(2021) International Review of Public Administration.
Public administration as a field of study (PA) has long suffered from a chronic identity crisis. Against such a background, by adopting Michel Foucault’s governmentality perspective, this paper critically examines the key assumptions and orientations of public administration and its relationship with the state. The basic arguments are that PA’s silence about the nature of the state has led to the chronic identity crisis and that PA has yet to offer a coherent vision for redefining itself in the context of governing the state and for constituting and engaging the citizens, especially in their counter-conducts amid the governing practices of public administration. Based upon such arguments, it proposes to redirect our attention to the exercise of power across the administrative encounters and explores a future direction for rethinking administrative practices. © 2021 The Korean Association for Public Administration.
conduct; counter-conduct; governmentality; Public administration; the state