n Journal of Public Administration - Developing the multi-discipline of public administration - propositions for South African and continental agenda setting

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The transformation of the South African government, public sector, and society has afforded opportunities to learn from global precedents, but also demanded situation specific responses from politicians, academics and public officials. A reasonable expectation would have been for the said transformation to have had far reaching affects on the development of South African public administration theory and praxis. However, evidence seems to suggest that theory development has played a secondary role to the developments in praxis, that praxis was / is dictated by political agendas and that what is taught in public administration and management schools and departments is evidently uncritically supportive of these agendas. It is evident that the credibility and growth of public administration calls for critical theory development that takes into account a large number of factors that are largely left off the current research agenda, including resurging nationalism, social science theories, international political and governance verities, globalisation, and African continental historiography. The critical required cannot be done from a stance of neutrality but must take into account the South African and continental context in order for it to be dubbed authentic African public administration informed by national and international verities.

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