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Book Review of Sandra van Thiel´s “Research Methods in Public Administration and Public Management”

I wrote a review of prof. dr. Sandra van Thiel’s new book “Research Methods in Public Administration and Public Management: An introduction”. My review has been published in the 2014 November issue of Public Administration Review.


I was enthusiastic to learn about this new book, because my first courses in research methods were taught by Sandra van Thiel at Erasmus University Rotterdam. As I argue in my review, the book gives a comprehensive overview of research methods for undergraduate students in public administration. A unique selling point of the book is that it is fully embedded in the world of public management and public administration, complete with examples, exercises and resources for junior researchers. More information about Sandra van Thiel´s book can be found here.

In the review, I reflect on the uniqueness and specific characteristics that Van Thiel attributes to research methods in public administration. For example, whereas Van Thiel states that public administration research has a prominent focus on practical, topical issues, I argue that recent developments in the literature suggest that public administration research is increasingly more theoretically oriented. In addition to Van Thiel’s positioning, I argue that public management research is also fragmented in terms of ontology and methodology, and I discuss recent methodological trends and developments. My review can be downloaded from the Public Administration Review website by clicking here.