Paul `t Hart

Paul ‘t Hart is a Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University School of Governance and also Associate Dean at the Netherlands School of Government in The Hague. His research, teaching and consulting covers political and public sector leadership, policy evaluation, public accountability and crisis management.

Successful Public Policy »

Lessons from Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand, many public projects, programs and services perform well. But these cases are consistently underexposed and understudied. We cannot properly ‘see’—let alone recognise and explain—variations in government performance when media, political and academic discourses are saturated with accounts of their shortcomings and failures, but are next to silent on their achievements. Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand helps to turn that tide. It aims to reset the agenda for teaching, research and dialogue on public policy performance. This is done through a series of close-up, in-depth and carefully chosen case study accounts of the genesis and evolution of stand-out public policy achievements, across a range of sectors within Australia and New Zealand. Through these accounts, written by experts from both countries, we engage with the conceptual, methodological and theoretical challenges that have plagued extant research seeking to evaluate, explain and design successful public policy. Studies of public policy successes are rare—not just in Australia and New Zealand, but the world over. This book is embedded in a broader project exploring policy successes globally; its companion volume, Great Policy Successes (edited by Paul ‘t Hart and Mallory Compton), is published by Oxford University Press (2019).

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.