For public administration scholars, psychological theories and methods can be extremely helpful, especially when studying attitudes or behaviors of (groups of) citizens, public professionals, or public managers. Behavioral public administration explicitly connects public administration and psychology. We published a JPART Virtual Issue and will be holding a EGPA Permanent Study Group on this topic. Next to this, I will present about this in Washtington DC.

JPART Virtual Issue on Behavioral Public Administration

Together with colleagues (Sebastian Jilke from Rutgers University, Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen from Utrecht University and Asmus Leth Olsen from the University of Copenhagen) we published a Virtual Issue on Behavioral Public Administration in JPART. For this Virtual Issue, we analyzed the articles of JPART from its inception (1991) to the current day (2015). We find that around 10% of the articles in JPART made a substantial use of psychology. The trend also seems to indicate a recent increase of this type of articles. We highlight eight of these articles in particular. These eight articles are excellent examples of the potential added value of psychological insights to key public administration questions. We hope that this Virtual Issue inspires scholars and practitioners to deepen the dialogue between public administration and psychology.

Introductory paper on Behavioral Public Administration

EGPA Permanent Study Group on Behavioral Public Administration

Call for Papers Annual EGPA conference, 24-26 August 2016, Utrecht, The Netherlands The newly established EGPA Permanent Study Group (PSG) on “Behavioral Public Administration” aims to contribute to our understanding of core public administration topics by combining insights from psychology (and the behavioral sciences more broadly) and public administration. The meetings of the permanent study group will be used to develop a joint research program on the topic of Behavioral Public Administration, including international publication opportunities. Abstracts should be 300 words maximum (excluding references), written in English, single spaced, plain text, with no tables or figures. It should include title of the proposed paper, overview of the main argument, research methods, and the name(s), affiliation(s) and contact information of the author(s). Deadline for the submissions is April 15th, 2016.  Please submit via the EGPA website: For additional information or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. For an online version of the CfP, see here:

Presentation in Washtington on Behavioral Public Administration

From APSA News

“What: Behavioral Science: Insights for Policy and Administration

When: Tuesday, February 9th from 8:30-11:00 AM

Where: University Club, 1135 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

On Tuesday, February 9th, from 8:30-11:00 AM at the University Club in Washington, D.C., the Academy and American University School of Public Affairs will be holding a forum on Behavioral Science: Insights for Policy and Administration. Behavioral economics suggests that policymakers can shape behavior by focusing on the individual’s automatic processes of judgment and influence. A behavioral sciences approach to policy formulation and implementation recognizes that people can behave irrationally, are inconsistent with their choices, and are affected by factors in the environment. However, behavioral science offers tools that can enhance these instruments and offer alternative options when information and incentives are not sufficient. This panel will examine the strategic opportunities to incorporate insights from behavioral sciences into policy design and implementation.

Our esteemed panel features:

  • Amira Choueiki Boland—Innovation Specialist, Social and Behavior Sciences Team, White House
  • Seth Gershenson—Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, American University
  • Taryn Morrissey—Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lars Tummers—Associate Professor in Public Management and Public Policy, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Dr. Howard McCurdy (Moderator)—Professor of Public Affairs, American University”

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