The presentation is based on the forthcoming book:
Ongaro, Edoardo (2017) Philosophy and Public Administration: An Introduction. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Elgar.
This book aims at providing a systematic introduction to the philosophical foundations of the study and the practice of public administration. It reviews all the main philosophical streams in western philosophy, from ancient Greek philosophy to the contemporary strands, and discusses their significance for public governance and public management. Ontological and epistemological issues are brought to the fore in discussing contemporary conceptions of the nature of public administration. The quest for justification and legitimacy of public governance is examined, and ‘Common Good’, ‘Social contract’ and ‘Personalism’ arguments vetted. The works of thinkers like Thomas More and Niccolò Machiavelli are revisited and the implications for contemporary public administration are drawn.
The presentation will make the argument that philosophical understanding isof overarching importance for the development of contemporary PA, and will argue about lines of application of philiosophical thought to PA themes and strands of research. The significance of bridging western philosophy (on which the book is based) with eastern philosophy is highlighted.