Special Issue Call for Papers: Public Leadership in Times of Crisis—The Intersection of Political and Administrative Leadership Responding to Crisis

Call for papers for: International Journal of Public Leadership

Vol. 18, No. 2, 2022: Public Leadership in Times of Crisis—The Intersection of Political and Administrative Leadership Responding to Crisis

Guest Editors: Tim A. Mau (University of Guelph, Canada [email protected]) and Frank Ohemeng (Concordia University, Canada [email protected])

For this special issue, we are looking for more in-depth, theoretically-oriented research papers or case studies that focus on how politicians, public servants and civil society actors provide leadership in response to a wide range of crises—be it political (e.g. responding to and preparing for Brexit), social and economic (e.g., famine or drought in Africa or an Asian tsunami), or health-related (e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic, the global SARS crisis, or the avian flu). As we know, in crisis situations, leadership in varied forms and addressing myriad questions is critical (Boin et al. 2018; Hartley, 2018). Having said that, we are especially interested in research studies that focus specifically on the interface between political and administrative leaders responding to such crises, since this an important area of public leadership research that has hitherto been neglected (Hartley, 2018).

Again, as an internationally-focused journal, we would like to capture a truly global perspective (Comfort et al., 2010) regarding various forms of public leadership during crises in this special issue, particularly from those parts of the world—namely Africa and Asia—that at present do not figure as prominently in the public leadership literature. Submissions can be country-specific, as well as comparative, examining examples of public sector leadership in two or more jurisdictions.

Manuscripts could address any of the following as well as other related questions that will contribute to our understanding of either public leadership in the broadest sense, which includes political, administrative or civic leadership (’t Hart and Tummers, 2019), or strategy and governance (Roberts, 2020) in times of crisis:

  1. What is the nature of the relationship between political and administrative leaders during crisis situations? Does the power shift from the politicians to various administrative leaders during a crisis because of an increased emphasis on the need for evidence-based decision-making?
  2. The public administration literature points to a shift to more shared and collaborative forms of leadership as a result of the shift to the new public management and new public governance paradigms. Does the need for shared leadership—between political, administrative and civic leaders—take on even greater importance in a crisis?
  3. Do crises provide more opportunities for innovative leadership by public servants at all levels?
  4. How do frontline public servants or street-level bureaucrats and their superiors provide leadership during a crisis? Does the nature of administrative leadership change during a crisis?
  5. Are charismatic administrative leaders more effective at motivating and inspiring public sector employees during times of crisis than other types of leaders?
  6. Are there best practices of leadership development in crisis management that can be applied in every situation?
  7. How can administrative leaders use foresight to conceptualise and understand future crisis events?
  8. What leadership lessons can be learned from the crisis situation in question and how can political and administrative leaders both learn and prepare for future crises?

We welcome manuscripts between 6,000 and 8,500 words that report on any type of quantitative or qualitative research undertaken by the author(s) involving the construction and/or testing of a model or framework or the presentation and analysis of survey or interview data. We would also be interested in case studies of administrative leadership in times of crisis; these cases would describe actual interventions or experiences of administrative leaders within public sector organizations.

Those authors who are interested in being considered for publication in this special issue of the journal should submit their papers using the ScholarOne Manuscript submission system (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijpl) by August 1, 2021. The deadline for final acceptance of manuscripts is February 7, 2022.



Boin, Arjen, Paul ’t Hart, Eric Stern and Bengt Sundelius (2017). The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership Under Pressure. Cambridge University Press.

Comfort, Louise, Arjen Boin, and Chris Demchak (2010). Designing Resilience: Preparing for Extreme Events. University of Pittsburgh Press.

Hartley, Jean (2018). “Ten propositions about public leadership,” International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 14 Issue: 4, pp.202-217,  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-09-2018-0048.

Roberts, Alasdair (2020) Strategies for Governing: Reinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century, Cornell University Press.

’t Hart, Paul and Lars Tummers (2019). Understanding Public Leadership. Red Globe Press.