• public administration;
  • globalization;
  • Asia;
  • intellectual identities;
  • challenges


In most Asian countries, the domain of public administration continues to bear the legacy of colonial rule and postcolonial modernization led by Western nations. It remains crucial to highlight this exogenous formation of administrative systems in this age of globalized New Public Management. Such imposed or borrowed Western models of administrative practices have often been ineffective because of their incompatibility with the indigenous Asian contexts, and they led to the worsening society–administration gaps and pathological outcomes. Beyond the continuing Western (especially American) intellectual hegemony in the field's knowledge-building, the prominent Asian scholars themselves have been educated mostly in foreign universities and institutions, which is not conducive to the construction of indigenous administrative knowledge based on an Asian perspective. In this context, it is imperative to explore the displacement of pre-colonial administrative traditions by colonial and postcolonial interventions, to examine how the contemporary administrative systems in Asia are based on exogenous models, and to assess the feasibility of constructing an overarching intellectual perspective that could be claimed as Asian public administration. This article attempts to explore these intellectual concerns with specific reference to selected cases in East, South, and Southeast Asia. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.