n Journal of Public Administration - Sovereignty and scholarship : can scholarship be sovereign? A case for (South) African public administration

Volume 48, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Scholarship in the developing world, with the public administration scholarship as the proximate abstraction of what maybe general, is not simply different from its predecessors in the developed world. It is more decadent. It generates an almost natural and implicit demand for it to take a stance, generally socio-political, that affects its style in such a way that scholarship itself comes to symbolise a particular paradigmatic orientation that alters its originative historical character. As a consequence, scholarship in developing world ends up on a quicksand type intellectual base that sunk deeper into its 'imposed inadequacy' whilst at the same time making its sovereignty vulnerable. Its reliance on conceptual frameworks that are not original and congruent to the contextual realities of the public administration milieu they purport to be instructing, discourage the high quality socio-political eclectic of the study of the discipline. The deeply bred traditions of grounded scholarship that is organic as pioneered by the emerging episteme advocated by a new breed of scholars calls for an interrogation of the question: can scholarship be sovereign? This article explores this question.

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