The 25th NISPAcee Annual Conference

Conference photos available

Conference photos available

In the conference participated 317 participants

Conference programme published

Almost 250 conference participants from 36 countries participated

Conference Report

Thank you for the opportunity to be there, and for the work of the organisers.

D.Z., Hungary, 24th Conference 2016, Zagreb

Well organized, as always. Excellent conference topic and paper selection.

M.S., Serbia, 23rd Conference 2015, Georgia

Perfect conference. Well organised. Very informative.

M.deV., Netherlands, 22nd Conference 2014, Hungary

Excellent conference. Congratulations!

S. C., United States, 20th Conference 2012, Republic of Macedonia

Thanks for organising the pre-conference activity. I benefited significantly!

R. U., Uzbekistan, 19th Conference, Varna 2011

Each information I got, was received perfectly in time!

L. S., Latvia, 21st Conference 2013, Serbia

The Conference was very academically fruitful!

M. K., Republic of Macedonia, 20th Conference 2012, Republic of Macedonia

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IX. Working Group on Transition, Change and Uncertainty

WG Programme Coordinators:

György Gajduschek, Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary

E-mail: gajduschek@gmail.com

He is a Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Budapest Corvinus University and is a senior research fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for Social Sciences. He is also the President of the Public Policy Section of the Hungarian Political Science Association. He has published several papers and books, in both Hungarian and English – amongst others – on the civil service system, law and policy making and implementation in Hungary and in the post-communist region.

 




Albena Taneva, Associate professor of Political Science, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria




 

 

Countries of Central and Eastern Europe or post-communist countries are still frequently called "transition countries”, roughly a quarter century after the communist regime collapsed. This very fact seems to refer to a high level of change and related uncertainty in accordance with the experience of scholars and ordinary people in the region. Our working group (WG) is devoted to change and uncertainty in public administration.

Classic bureaucratic theory (e.g., Weberian), scholars examining development (e.g. Amsden et al., 1994; Evans, 1995; Evans & Rauch, 1999; Nelson, 1994), and transnational bodies (e.g. the OECD and the EU) argue that economic development necessitates stable and professional administrative systems. Modern organisational theory, on the other hand, emphasises the importance of change (Shafritz – Ott 2001) in order to improve performance and ensure adaptation to a changing environment and client needs. The problem of change appears in political science under such titles as democratisation (Haerpfer 2011) or modernisation (Riggs 1971) and other types of institutional change (Rothstein in Badie et al 2011) as well. Naturally, the most adequate literature for our interest is the one on "transition”, referring typically to a triple transition (Offe-Adler 1991; Elster et al 1998) from a communist to a democratic, capitalist regime. From an administrative point of view, the main question may be, how much and what type of change is needed, and what is the level of uncertainty that endangers the effectiveness and the quality of public administration? More specifically, in this WG we are looking for answers to the following questions:

 

1)Is there indeed a significantly higher level of change and subsequent uncertainty in the CEE region? – Our hypothesis is that there is a much higher level of change and uncertainty in the region than in Western countries. Papers that engage with this hypothesis are highly welcome.

 

2)Is there a linear relationship between the amount of change and the level of uncertainty; or alternatively, some types of change may cause less uncertainty than others? – Our hypothesis is that some types of changes (e.g. change decided in a deliberative process; or change that fits to a longer, strategic plan) may cause less uncertainty than others. Papers that engage with this hypothesis are highly welcome.

 

3)What are the potential causes of frequently large-sale changes in the region?

 

4)What are the identifiable effects of these changes?

 

The first session of this WG took place at the 22nd NISPAcee conference in 2014. Since then, several papers have dealt with specific cases of change and/or uncertainty in various post-communist countries. Additionally, a few papers were devoted to more general, theoretical issues regarding the central problem of this WG. Most of these papers are now accessible via NISPAcee’s conference proceedings in electronic format.

For the 25th Conference, we are looking for papers that address directly at least one of the above four questions, ideally combining theoretical considerations with empirical evidence. Comparative papers are especially welcome.