The evolving discipline of public affairs



  • Approaching the tenth anniversary of this Journal of Public Affairs, as the editorial team we offer this extended literature review as our reflection on the evolution and development of public affairs, both as an academic discipline and a professional practice. It is a necessarily personal and subjective contribution, highlighting the issues and areas which we believe represent significant continuing debates. The article considers how public affairs is, and should be, defined; examines the range of activities which theorists and practitioners understand as falling within the scope of corporate public affairs; analyses the relationship between public affairs and corporate political activity as different though complementary fields; discusses the importance of the public issues life cycle and the issues management models; and calls upon the public affairs community to defend the position of public affairs as the fundamental bridge between the organisation, society and government, in the face of challenges from other organisational functions.

Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.