The 29th NISPAcee Annual Conference

The 29th NISPAcee Annual Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, October 21 - October 23, 2021

Excellent conference. I really enjoyed the papers, speakers, schedule and location and great staff!

D.B., United States, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...relating to public administration and policy. Good opportunities for networking.

N.D., Georgia, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

Excellent participants, argument-driven discussions, impartial and supportive Chairs in the Working Group.

D.G., Republic of North Macedonia, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague detail and I really enjoyed the supportive and encouraging atmosphere there. Thank you!

R.B., Lithuania, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...both in terms of academic quality and logistics, and also social events. It was a true joy.

E.Z., Bulgaria, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...The special programmes were really excellent and we took home many varied experiences.

P.N., Hungary, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...Sessions were interesting, scholars were engaging and all the social events were amazing!

B.K., Kazakhstan, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

Excellent organization, excellent food. Compliments to the organizers, they did a wonderful job!

V.J., Netherlands, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

...I must say that the PhD pre-conference seminar was the most useful seminar of my life. Very well...

K.V., Czech Republic, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

... I would even argue that they are the very best - both in terms of scientific content and also entertainment…

P.W., Denmark, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

An opportunity to learn from other researchers and other countries' experiences on certain topics.

G.A.C., Hungary, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

Very well organised, excellent programme and fruitful discussions.

M.M.S., Slovakia, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

The NISPAcee conference remains a very interesting conference.

M.D.V., Netherlands, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

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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 Paper/Speech Details of Conference Program  

for the  29th NISPAcee Annual Conference
  Program Overview
WG3: Public Administration Reform in CEE and CA (Physical)
Author(s)  Marton Gellen 
  University of Public Service
Budapest  Hungary
 Title  Centralization Revisited: Hungarian Experience with Civic Participation in Public Services in the Midst of the Pandemic
File   Paper files are available only for conference participants, please login first. 
Presenter  Marton Gellen
Paper proposal for NISPA CEE Annual Conference, 2021
Title: Centralization Revisited: Hungarian Experience with Civic Participation in Public Services in the Midst of the Pandemic
The author: Márton Gellén, assistant professor, National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary, Formerly: visiting associate professor at Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan. During 2017-2020 the author served as deputy state secretary for victim support and legal aid at the Ministry of Justice, Hungary.

From 2010 onwards, Hungary has been depicted as a country with reverse tendencies in public administration development. This tendency was considered by certain authors as backsliding in democracy. The current developments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic however, puts the centralization trend into an entirely new context. Disaster management has always been associated with centralized operations of public administration. One could argue that a widespread pandemic could serve as a good pretext for further centralization and/or as a legitimation for centralizations so far. I argue however, that this conclusion totally misses the point in terms of civic participation in public services.
The current analysis picks up the thread of scrutiny from the early 2010s displaying how civic participation has been an essential element of formulating and delivering policies in Hungary despite critical voices from the beginning of the period in question. Approximately 65 thousand civic organizations are active in all walks of life and many of them are strong if not decisive contributors of public services. Certain sectors have varying possibilities and legacies in civic participation though that are displayed in the article. The research contains statistical evidence of the overall figures of civic participation and offers a couple of sectoral analyses whereas civic contribution characteristically forms the given field of public services.
The pandemic and the various government responses to it (from informing the public to announcing partial curfew) offer an extraordinary context to further examine how civic contribution to public services and government to civil society relationship develop. The article contains the result of a qualitative analysis with civil organizations engaged in women support regarding their experience of fighting the pandemic while performing their normal duties.
As a conclusion, the article offers a much more complex framework of understanding the various dimensions of cooperation between government and civil society that was previously analyzed by the corresponding academic literature.

GELLÉN, Márton: Does Centralization Serve Efficiency? De-Agencification in Hungary. NISPA CEE Journal of Public Administration and Policy. Vol. 5. No. 2. 67-87.
ÁGH, Attila: The triple crisis in Hungary: The “Backsliding” of Hungarian Democracy after Twenty Years. Romanian Journal of Political Science (PolSci) Vol. 13, No. 1, Summer 2013, pp. 25-51., HAJNAL, György, and CSENGŐDI, Sándor. (2014). When Crisis Hits Superman: Change and Stability of Political Control and Politicization in Hungary. Administrative Culture, 15:1, 39-57.
HOOD, Christopher, et al. (editors): Controlling Modern Government. Variety, Commonality and Change. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 2004
GUASTI, Petra: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe. The Rise of Authocracy and Democratic Resilience. Democratic Theory. Vol. 7. No. 2. pp. 47-60.
KUTI, Éva: Government-Nonprofit Sector Relations in Hungary: Aspirations, Efforts and Impacts. In. PHILIPS, Susan D. and Steven RATHGEB SMITH (eds). Government and Regulation of the Third Sector. International Perspectives. Routledge 2011. pp. 142-163.