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Book by Two SPEA Professors Earn Award for Longterm Impact

July 28, 2014
Bloomington, Indiana --

An influential book about government operations authored by two Indiana University professors will receive a prestigious award from the American Political Science Association (APSA).

Collaborative Public Management: New Strategies for Local Governments (Georgetown University Press) was authored in 2003 by Robert Agranoff and Michael McGuire. Agranoff is an emeritus professor and McGuire is a professor at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA).

Agranoff and McGuire will receive the Martha Derthick Book Award from APSA at the association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. in late August. The award goes to what the APSA judges determine to be “the best book on federalism and intergovernmental relations published at least 10 years ago that has made a lasting contribution to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations.”

Collaborative Public Management has helped scores of governments and government officials operate more effectively, especially during a period of increasing regionalism that saw local, state and federal agencies develop new ways of doing the people’s business. Agranoff and McGuire studied 237 cities in five states to learn the secrets to effective collaborations. Beyond the “how” and “why,” Georgetown Press says the book “identifies the importance of different managerial approaches by breaking them down into parts and sequences, and describing the many kinds of collaborative activities and processes that allow local governments to function in new ways to address the most nettlesome challenges.”

The book has also been a guide to academic researchers and other authors, receiving nearly 1,000 citations (Google Scholar) since it was first published.

“The book proved to be a timely and early contribution to scholarship on managing collaborative relationships in government,” McGuire said. “As Bob and I began the research, we expected to find some managerial activity across levels of government but we were surprised at the extent and variety of cross-sector, intergovernmental and interagency activity occurring in local governments.”

Collaborative Public Management continues to have an impact long after it was first published, especially as governments deal with pressure from tight budgets and demanding taxpayers. “The book is a testament to how difficult it is for local-level public managers to design and implement strategies in an era of limited resources and increased public demands faced by government administrators,” Agranoff said. “They simply cannot do it alone.”

Bob AgranoffAbout Dr. Robert Agranoff:

Dr. Agranoff is professor emeritus at SPEA where he has been a member of the faculty since 1980. Since 1990, Dr. Agranoff has also been affiliated with the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has written numerous books and articles including Network Theory in the Public Sector: Building New Theoretical Frameworks (Routledge, 2014) with co-authors Robyn Keast and Myrna Mandell.

Michael McGuireAbout Dr. Michael McGuire:

Dr. McGuire is a professor at SPEA where he has been a member of the faculty since 2005 and has been honored for both his teaching and his scholarship. An article he co-authored with Dr. Agranoff on the limitations of public management networks received the 2011 Haldane Best Article Award for an article published in the journal Public Administration. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.