Dilemmas in Public Management in Greater China and Australia

Dilemmas in Public Management in Greater China and Australia

Rising Tensions but Common Challenges

Edited by: Andrew Podger orcid, Hon S. Chan orcid, Tsai-tsu Su, John Wanna orcid

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This book draws on more than a decade of workshops organised by the Greater China Australia Dialogue on Public Administration, involving scholars and practitioners from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. Although these workshops recognised the major differences in the institutional frameworks of these jurisdictions, until recently they focused largely on the shared challenges and the diffusion of ideas and approaches.

As rising international tensions inevitably draw attention to areas where interests and philosophies diverge, it is the differences that must now be highlighted. Yet, despite the tensions, this book reveals that these jurisdictions continue to address shared challenges in public administration.

The book’s contributors focus in detail on these four areas:

  • intergovernmental relations, including the shifting balance between centralisation and decentralisation
  • budgeting and financial management, including during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
  • the civil service, its capability, and its relationship with government and the public
  • service delivery, particularly in health and aged care.

This book is aimed at a wide readership, not only at those within the jurisdictions it explores. It emphasises the importance of continued engagement in understanding different approaches to public administration—confirming fundamental philosophical differences where necessary but also looking for common ground and opportunities for shared learning.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jul 2023
ANU Press
Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies, Social Policy & Administration
Australia; East Asia: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan

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  1. The new global realities: Escalating tensions and colliding world views despite similar challenges and regime dilemmas (PDF, 0.7MB)Kaifeng Yang, John Wanna, Tsai-tsu Su and Andrew Podger doi

Part 1: Intergovernmental relations (PDF, 0.1MB)

  1. ‘One country, two systems’ in transition (PDF, 0.2MB)Richard Hu doi
  2. Vertical power structure and policy experimentation in Xi’s China (PDF, 1.1MB)Youlang Zhang doi
  3. Revitalising local capacity in Taiwan: Institutional arrangements, consequences and prospects (PDF, 0.3MB)Tsai-tsu Su and Ming-feng Kuo doi
  4. The revival of Australian federalism? Trends and developments in Commonwealth–state relations (PDF, 0.2MB)Alan Fenna doi
  5. Federal financial relations in Australia (PDF, 0.3MB)Rachel Thompson doi
  6. Local government in Australia: An overview and strategic directions (PDF, 1.6MB)Bligh Grant and Nicholas Aroney doi

Part 2: Budgeting and financial management (PDF, 0.1MB)

  1. The state of local public finance in China under Xi Jinping (PDF, 0.3MB)Christine Wong doi
  2. Australia’s financial management challenges post‑COVID (PDF, 1.2MB)Henry Ergas and Joe Branigan doi
  3. Performance budgeting in China (PDF, 0.3MB)Meili Niu and Peipei Zhang doi
  4. China’s approach to performance management and future directions (PDF, 0.2MB)Jie Gao doi
  5. Evaluation in the Australian Public Service: What can the case of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade tell us about an enduring challenge for public administration? (PDF, 1.0MB)Wendy Jarvie doi

Part 3: The civil service (PDF, 0.1MB)

  1. Political meritocracy in Chinese cadre personnel management (PDF, 0.2MB)Shuo Chen and Hon S. Chan doi
  2. Change and continuity in the civil service of Taiwan under democratisation: With Hong Kong as a benchmark for assessment (PDF, 0.2MB)Bennis Wai Yip So and Chih-Wei Hsieh doi
  3. Australian Public Service capability (PDF, 0.6MB)Andrew Podger and John Halligan doi

Part 4: Service delivery (PDF, 0.1MB)

  1. Recent developments and future directions of administrative service reform in China (PDF, 0.3MB)Liang Ma doi
  2. The service delivery reform agenda for the Australian Commonwealth today (PDF, 0.2MB)Gordon de Brouwer doi
  3. Coordinating government silos in Hong Kong (PDF, 0.2MB)Ian Scott and Ting Gong doi
  4. Creating a service system from scratch: Community old age care services in China (PDF, 0.3MB)Bingqin Li doi
  5. The challenge of allocating resources for an effective health system in China (PDF, 0.3MB)Jiwei Qian doi
  6. Service delivery reform in Taiwan: A case study of the Safeguard Happiness Station (PDF, 0.2MB)Helen K. Liu doi
  7. Aged care in Australia: Current approaches and emerging challenges (PDF, 0.2MB)Mike Woods doi
  8. Concluding comments: Common challenges amidst sharpening differences (PDF, 0.1MB)Andrew Podger doi

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