Public values, public official associations, and professionalism: A cross-national analysis

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This article explores the role of public official associations (POAs) in the articulation of public values, the development of policy, and the dissemination of knowledge pertinent to the effective management of the public interest. The research is comparative and includes examinations of POAs in the United States, Sweden, and India. The examination of these cases suggests that POAs play a significant role in governance, albeit one defined by the structure and history of any particular system. As organizations that are "of the state, but not in the state," they serve important roles in mediating between center and periphery, between political and administrative perspectives on policy, and help integrate professional and public service values. The exploration also indicates that POAs are important in forming elements of networks on important policy issues and that they are frequent sources of innovation, such as general revenue sharing in the United States and fiscal reform in Sweden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-741
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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