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


About Prof. Colin Talbot

Research Associate, University of Cambridge Professor of Government (Emeritus), University of Manchester
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3 Responses to Launch of “The Public Management Research Sessions”

  1. Davy Jones says:

    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. Gerallt Evans-Hughes says:

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

  3. Pingback: Launch of “The Public Management Research Sessions” | Whitehall Watch « Management Fair

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