Launch of “The Public Management Research Sessions”

Whitehall Watch has been more successful, both quantitatively and qualitatively, than I ever imagined when I started it up just over two years ago now. But it has been almost entirely a “one man band” and I’ve been trying to think of ways of changing that….

I’ve come to the (reluctant) conclusion that I can’t – Whitehall Watch, for good or ill, has become far too identified with me personally for it to be easy for others – as contributors or readers – to see it as anything else.

So – rather than try and revamp WW I decided it would be much better to launch something that would, from the start, be ‘owned’ by a much wider group. Hence The Public Management Research Sessions (

The premise of this blog is that it will offer a platform for semi-structured debates and discussions about developments in our understanding of “public management”, or “public administration” if you prefer – driven entirely by those who want to contribute.

The “Sessions” in the title refers to the idea of trying to have a series of sequential focussed discussions of specific topics, kicked off by ‘Session Leaders’ who will pose the initial questions and try and steer the discussion – and hopefully even draw some conclusions at appropriate points. So it becomes a sort of rolling colloquium.

Some of the advantages of a fairly open platform for debate like this are fairly obvious. This will be a “conference” where:

– no-one gets the after-lunch slot to present?
– you can turn up anytime and hear all the discussion so far?
– there’s no fee?
– you can get there faster than “beam me up Scotty”?
– you can contribute to the discussion as much as you like?
– there will be a permanent record of the discussion available to anyone who wants it?
– you can sneak out when you like without any embarrassment?
– and you can still do some of the networking you would do at a ‘real’ conference?

So, if you want to get involved you can:

– go to the new blog now and signup for email updates so you don’t miss the start of discussions

– propose a topic and initial “speakers” for a Session of your own

– above all, enjoy

– and finally, please pass on this information to colleagues and net works that might be interested

Colin Talbot

3 thoughts on “Launch of “The Public Management Research Sessions”

  1. Yes please, Colin

    And how about a topic on: Do we need the Duty to Involve – I am just about to blog about the Government’s announcement that they intend to get rid of it !

    Or another topic: Can self assessment of the local area and its quality of life by councils and their partners ever be enough ?

  2. I’m very interested in following this debate. Please keep me posted of any new developments.
    Good Luck.!
    Kind regards.

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