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Trust in Public Administration

The International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) in close collaboration with the Fundação Getúlio Vargas is organizing the 2015 International Congress of IIAS to be held from 22 to 26 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The congress will bring together government professionals, academics and practitioners, PhD students and young researchers in public administration and management, as well as contributors from other disciplines who will exchange on the theme of Trust in Public Administration. The deadline for submission is 15 December 2014.


Trust is considered as a crucial issue at all levels of governance. An effective democratic society depends on the confidence citizens have in their government for designing and managing public policies and public sector (citizens/users trust) but also on the trust that civil servants have in the public sector reforms (inner trust, within the public sector). During the recent decades, with the economic and other crises and with the current developments in the governance systems, we observed a decrease of the trust in governments and in public administration. The distrust is alarming and questions the models of governance, the democratic system and calls for innovations to improve the performance, efficiency and effectiveness in responding to the citizens’ needs and to the challenges of our society. Restoring trust requests several measures/actions to strengthen integrity, transparency, accountability but also the engagement/involvement of all the partners/stakeholders of this interaction.


1. Citizens/Customers’ Trust in Governments, Public Administration and Public Sector at all levels of governance
Regarding subtheme 1, IIAS welcomes contributions covering the following aspects:
• empirical evidence as to the level of trust public administration institutions enjoy, and its variation over time and place;
• empirical evidence as to the initiatives taken by public administration institutions to increase their level of trust – including but not limited to accountability systems and ethical and integrity standards – and their effectiveness;
• theoretical explanations for differing levels of trust;
• propositions to increase the level of trust public administration institutions enjoy.

2. Trust from Government in Society
Under the subtheme 2, the participants will address the following issues:
• the trust of governments in the capacity of citizens to be associated to the process of co-design, co-production and co- evaluation of Public Administration Public Sector and regulatory reforms as well as to the public policies;
• how officials and citizens can be conscious of their role as co-producers in the process of public service delivery;
• the role of networks and civil society associations and the level of reciprocal trust;
• techniques and tools to involve citizens’ participation in governmental action;
• relations between participatory/collaborative governance, responsive delivery services
and trust.

3. Administrative Trust in Public Administration Reforms: inner-trust, civil servants’ trust and interorganisational trust
This subtheme covers different aspects:
• trust between civil servants;
• trust between public sector organizations;
• trust between politicians;
• trust between politicians and the civil service (Bouckaert, 2012 );
• trust or faith of policy-makers in the effectiveness of their reform initiatives.

For this subtheme, IIAS welcomes contributions examining, for one or many of these aspects,
theoretical and/or empirical contributions on
• the accountability mechanisms (such as performance contracts, audit and inspection mechanisms, performance management systems) put in place to create trust, their effectiveness and side effects;
• innovative instruments aimed at creating trust, building for instance on interpersonal networks, ethical codes of conducts, and participative mechanisms.

Abstract submission

An abstract of no more than 1000 words (in English or in French) must be submitted by 15 December 2014 at the latest and should be uploaded through
http://www.iias-congress2015.org under “registration-submission” as from 15 October only.
• In line with the aims of the IIAS, papers must have a scientific character (explicitly political or overly ideological papers are not suitable).
• If you need any help, please contact [email protected].

The rapporteurs proceed with the selection of abstracts based on the congruence of the proposal with the call for papers. If needed they suggest, to the authors ways of improving the papers, and increasing their relevance for the congress.


International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS)

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