Relational public administration: a synthesis and heuristic classification of relational approaches

Koen Bartels, Nicholas Turnbull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
380 Downloads (Pure)


Interest in the relational dimensions of public administration is growing. However,
the significance of relationality has not been understood, nor has the diversity of
relational approaches been synthesized into a coherent research agenda. Relational
public administration developed from the decline of rational policy models and the
advent of network governance. We draw on relational sociology to formulate
a relational perspective of larger scope, integrating relational process ontology,
practice theory, social network analyses, and interpretive policy analysis. A heuristic
framework classifies relational public administration research in four types:
Connected Actors, Co-Creation Networks, Interactive Performance, and Dynamic
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Management Review
Early online date1 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2019


  • interaction
  • network governance
  • relational public administration
  • relationistic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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