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Paradigm Shift in Public Administration: Implications for Teaching in Professional Training Programs

Authors


Xun Wu is an assistant professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include water resource management, energy policy, and comparative health care reforms.
E-mail:sppwuxun@nus.edu.sg

Jingwei He is a doctoral candidate in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He earned a master’s degree in public administration and policy in Xiamen University, China.
E-mail:jingweihe@nus.edu.sg

Abstract

The decline in popularity of New Public Management worldwide reinvigorated the search for a new paradigm in the field of public administration. Several alternatives to New Public Management, such as the New Governance and Public Value paradigms, have gained prominence in recent years. Despite tensions among these paradigms, exceptional challenges for public administration teaching programs exist. Xun Wu and Jingwei He of the National University of Singapore compiled data on public administration and management courses from 48 top master of public administration degree programs in China and the United States. This essay analyzes how competing paradigms influenced the selection of course content and pedagogical foci in professional training curricula. The authors conclude that in order to take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity provided by the rapid, global expansion of professional education in public administration, there is an urgent need to find a synthesized theoretical framework.

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