Public Administration

Cover image for Vol. 93 Issue 1

Edited By: Arjen Boin and Martin Lodge

Impact Factor: 1.863

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 4/46 (Public Administration); 13/157 (Political Science)

Online ISSN: 1467-9299

Haldane Prize for Best Article

Richard HaldanePublic Administration was established in 1923 to provide for a record on the ‘science of administration’. One of the founding members of the journal was Richard Haldane (1st Viscount of Haldane), a Liberal (and later Labour) statesperson. Haldane’s committee work on the ‘machinery of government’, his work on the ‘principles’ that were to guide the relationship between state and universities and his work on the reform of the military had a long-standing impact in the worlds of practice and research, not just in the UK.

In the past, Public Administration honoured its prestigious inheritance by awarding an annual Haldane prize to distinguished practitioner essays. The editors are delighted to revive the Haldane Prize and thereby celebrate Public Administration’s long-standing and central contribution to the field of public administration, broadly defined.

A jury of editorial board members read the articles published in Volume 90 of Public Administration. They used the following criteria in their selection process:
- the winning article(s) need to address a major issue/development in the field;
- it needs both to challenge and advance the field's conventional wisdoms;
- it must be of impeccable academic quality (in terms of its conceptual/theoretical reasoning and design/reporting of empirical work);
- it needs to offer truly stimulating implications for future research and/or practical recommendations.

Congratulations to the two winners!

Policy making beyond ideology: the adoption of smoking bans in Europe
Dimiter Toshkov

This article investigates an interesting and well-motivated research question, why restrictions on smoking are introduced. It provides an excellent state-of-the-art overview of the literature on anti-smoking policies and on this basis convincingly argues that important gaps exist in our knowledge of cross-national variation. By use of general political science literature the author then derives a set of interesting hypotheses for empirical investigation.

These hypotheses are then subjected to empirical analysis on a dataset of 29 European countries over the period 2003-2011. The analysis is carefully delimited to focus on smoking bans in bars and restaurants, the most controversial dimension of anti-smoking policies. The author performs a sophisticated and highly competent empirical analysis that includes both event history and ordinal regression analysis. This is the ideal, but quite demanding, statistical technique given the research question and the data.

The analysis shows that the explanation of anti-smoking policies lies in economic factors like the scale of tobacco production, smoking prevalence in society and public support for tough anti-smoking policies. The jury was impressed with how elegantly the author manages to include presentation and motivation of the research question, literature review, derivation of hypotheses, complicated statistical analysis and presentation and discussion of findings – and still make the article accessible and straight-forward to read and understand. In sum, this is exemplary work.

Advocacy coalitions in crisis resolution: understanding policy dispute in the European volcanic ash cloud crisis
Daniel Nohrstedt

This article investigates an important research question, how to understand the political conflicts in disruptive crises. It starts with a fine state-of-the-art overview of the literature on crisis-induced policy conflict. The author demonstrates that the literature provides a number of approaches to this question, but no final answers. However, the author makes the argument that the advocacy coalition framework provides the best starting point for understanding the resolution of conflicts. The author here provides a rare example of careful theoretical argumentation. As the author correctly points out, the advocacy coalition framework has so far predominantly been used in a US context. The author therefore makes a considerable contribution to the literature by applying the advocacy coalition framework to a European setting and demonstrating its validity here. This is done by a carefully conducted case study of the 2010 volcanic ash cloud crisis. This particular case was chosen because it was a trans-boundary crisis imposing substantial economic and political costs on multiple stakeholders. The author then conducts a highly competent case study of this complicated crisis. The analysis is carefully organized according to theoretical variables. It is based on documentary data, and the author demonstrates how far you can go in a case study based on this type of data. The author ends the article with a careful conclusion that points out how the case demonstrates both the usefulness and limitations of the advocacy coalition model. The jury was especially impressed with how the author manages to make a concise theoretical argument based on an extensive discussion of the literature and demonstrate its usefulness in a carefully conducted case study. In sum, this is excellent work.