I’ve just published a paper in the leading academic journal Public Management Review entitled “Public Sector Innovation in a Context of Radical Populism.” In it I discuss the key characteristics of both radical populism (xenophobia, anti-elitism) and public sector innovation (a much longer list). Getting down to cases, I show how the Trump Administration’s practices in many areas (budget cuts, rejection of facts and evidence, denigration of public servants) will kneecap innovation in the US federal government. I also discuss the situation in Europe, where radical populists are usually constrained by the politics of coalition governments to focus on immigration, rather than adopting a more ambitious agenda like that of the Trump Administration. I conclude with suggestions about further research on the effect of populism on public sector innovation.
The paper for now is available in its entirety at this link. I don’t know how long this link will remain operative. The paper may be brought back behind the publisher’s paywall. If you are interested, I encourage you to read and download it.