The Public Management Research Association (PMRA) is a nonprofit academic membership association that furthers research on public organizations. PMRA grew out of a bi-annual series of public management research conferences and over the years has substantially increased in size and influence. The Public Management Research Association Conference has become the foremost gathering of leading public management scholars in the US and around the world. In addition, PMRA now publishes the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART), one of the premier journals in the field. A second journal, Perspectives on Public Management and Governance (PPMG), will debut in 2017.
PMRA, JPART, and PPMG emphasize links between the study of public institutions, their management, and public policy. Another goal of PMRA, JPART, and PPMG is to foster multidisciplinary research on government and governance. The organization supports the development of empirical and normative inquiry, theory building, and systematic testing of theory consistent with the canons of social science using the full range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
The Public Management Research Association (PMRA) Condemns the Recent Executive Order (“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”) signed by President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017.
PMRA is an international group of researchers that study good governance. Our members come from all over the world. The effect of the order is to bar members from the designated countries, or dual nationals from other countries, from studying, working, or visiting the United States, including attending conferences in the United States that PMRA hosts. The policy will have a significant negative effect on the ability of higher education institutions in the United States to attract the best and the brightest from all over the world, and to share knowledge on how to improve public sector outcomes.
Apart from the substantive content of the order, the Association is troubled by the reports of how the order was crafted and implemented. Being experts in public policy and good governance, our members are particularly concerned with how this executive order has departed from our democratic norms and will thus result in poorer outcomes. Standard consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel and the implementing unit (the Department of Homeland Security) were skipped and the order was implemented without clear guidance to frontline staff. Basic issues such as the rights of green-card holders and dual citizens were subject to contradictory directives. This creates confusion where front-line bureaucrats cannot be reasonably expected to perform in a consistent or equitable manner. Good policy and implementation requires consultation and preparation, both of which were lacking in this case.
The Public Management Research Association will host its annual meeting in Washington DC, June 8-10, 2017. This provides us with the ideal place and opportunity to discuss contemporary challenges to governance in the United States and elsewhere. We hope that members from the designated countries will no longer be barred from coming to the United States. If not, we will seek ways to facilitate those whose papers were accepted to virtually present. In addition to presenting research papers, we will also make space in the conference to discuss challenges to basic institutions of governance that have recently emerged. There is no better time to demonstrate the relevance of our knowledge to the world around us.