Paul `t Hart

Paul 't Hart is a Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University and Associate Dean of the Netherlands School of Public Administration in The Hague. He resumed both positions in mid-2011, after spending five years as Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. Paul’s research, teaching and consulting covers political and public sector leadership, policy evaluation, public accountability and crisis management. His books include Framing the Global Meltdown: Crisis Rhetoric and the Politics of Recession (ANU E-Press 2009), The Real World of EU Accountability: Which Deficit? (Oxford University Press 2010), How Power Changes Hands: Transition and Succession in Government (Palgrave 2011), Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance (Oxford University Press 2013), The Oxford Handbook of Political Leadership (Oxford University Press 2014) and Understanding Public Leadership (Palgrave 2014). 

Paul has extensive training and consulting experience within government, primarily in Holland, Sweden and Australia, including secondments at the Dutch Intelligence Service and Public Prosecutors Office. He recently completed two consultancy reports on the institutional reputation and the corporate governance of the Dutch judiciary, advised the Swedish cabinet on crisis management, and is currently a member of a government-appointed committee evaluating the Dutch police law of 2012, which in the largest reorganisation in the history of Dutch government saw the creation of a single, national police force out of 25 regional forces. 

Paul was elected a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. His book Settling the Office: The Australian Prime Ministership From Federation to Reconstruction (co-authored with James Walter and Paul Strangio) came out in February 2016 at The Miegunyah Press (Melbourne UP). A second volume taking the story from Menzies to Abbott will appear in Spring 2017. He is currently setting up a major comparative study of successful public agencies, policies and networks.

Framing the Global Economic Downturn »

Crisis rhetoric and the politics of recessions

Edited by: Paul `t Hart, Karen Tindall
The global economic downturn that followed the collapse of major US financial institutions is no doubt the most significant crisis of our times. Its effects on corporate and governmental balance sheets have been devastating, as have been its impacts on the employment and well being of tens of millions of citizens. It continues to pose major challenges to national policymakers and institutions around the world. Managing public uncertainty and anxiety is vital in coping with financial crises. This requires not just prompt action but, most of all, persuasive communication by government leaders. At the same time, the very occurrence of such crises raises acute questions about the effectiveness and robustness of current government policies and institutions. With the stakes being so high, defining and interpreting what is going on, how and why it happened, and what ought to be done now become key questions in the political and policy struggles that crises invariably unleash. In this volume, we study how heads of government, finance ministers and national bank governors in eight countries as well as the EU engage in such ‘framing contests’, and how their attempts to interpret the cascading events of the economic downturn were publicly received. Using systematic content analysis of speeches and media coverage, this volume offers a unique comparative assessment of public leadership in times of crisis.

Public Leadership »

Perspectives and practices

Edited by: Paul `t Hart, John Uhr
‘Leadership’ is routinely admired, vilified, ridiculed, invoked, trivialised, explained and speculated about in the media and in everyday conversation. Despite all this talk, there is surprisingly little consensus about how to answer basic questions about the nature, place, role and impact of leadership in contemporary society. This book brings together academics from a broad array of social science disciplines who are interested in contemporary understandings of leadership in the public domain. Their work on political, administrative and civil society leadership represents a stock-take of what we need to know and offers original examples of what we do know about public leadership. Although this volume connects scholars living in, and mostly working on, public leadership in Australia and New Zealand, their contributions have a much broader scope and relevance.