All posts by Rudolf Metz

Call for Abstracts: IRSPM Conference 2021

The PUPOL will organize a panel at the International Research Society for Public Management Conference. The first virtual IRSPM Conference will be held on April 20 – 23, 2021. The call for paper abstracts is open until February 12, 2021. (Details of abstract submission)

Societies face increasingly complex and wicked challenges occurring simultaneously, across a diverse range of issues such as global health threats to our lifestyle, freedom, and the economy; technological advances that impact on privacy; threats to democracy; climate emergency; income and racial inequalities; migration, and more.

To address such societal challenges, on one side citizens look to public leaders to exercise leadership on behalf of them; on the other side, citizens step up to take a public leadership role, for example, Greta Thunberg for climate change. Examining the impact of leadership on society and communities expands the understanding of whether and how public leadership can make a difference.

This panel proposal calls for papers to investigate the role, processes, and impact of public leadership in responding to contemporary complex and wicked societal challenges at any level, from the micro to the macro. Public leadership is intended broadly, as leadership in the public sphere (Hartley 2018) dealing with collective problems and/or collective opportunities across sectors. We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, with a range of well-articulated methodologies.

Abstracts should be of max. 500 words including references. More detailed authors’ guidelines will be available on and the ExOrdo system for reference. The panel is organized in cooperation with the PUPOL (Public and Political Leadership) network and will feature traditional paper presentation sessions, and open sessions to discuss public leadership in a post-Covid-19 world and needed future directions of public leadership research. This will enable the panel to bring together a range of diverse views and traditions on public leadership.

Some of the topics that are particularly welcome are the following, but we are open to any relevant work which studies political, managerial and community leadership for the public sphere:

  • The relationship between public leadership, collaborative governance, and strategic management;
  • Public leadership responses to Covid-19, including comparative analysis across and within nations
  • Political leaders under stress: challenges of populism and technocracy for democratic leadership in extraordinary times;
  • Place-based and collaborative approaches to public leadership;
  • The role of leadership in enhancing the salience of purpose in public organizations and partnerships;
  • Ethical leadership and the role of compassion in political and public leadership responses to crises;
  • Differences and/or similarities of forms of political, managerial and community leadership;
  • The role of public leadership in addressing causes and consequences of inequality and social exclusion;
  • Public leadership from the ground up: resistance and agency of historically marginalized and subaltern groups;
  • The role of public and political interactive leadership in engaging members of the society in interactive policy and public management;
  • Positive and negative followership and the role of social networks and media and their impacts on leadership.

PUPOL Newsletter – January 2021

We collected some interesting updates from our field of public and political leadership.

PUPOL news

 The PUPOL Early Carrier Network has been launched! We recommend that our young colleagues join the initiative, and we ask whoever has a supervised student to recommend this opportunity. The self-organizing ECN defines three main goals:

    1. Get inspired. Broaden academic horizons, discover career opportunities and meet remarkable scholars from across the globe
    2. Facilitate transnational academic partnership, networking, and exchange of experiences.
    3. Make an impact. Create and share excellent academic research on public and political leadership.

Along with these goals, ECN plans to organize regular research seminars on specific leadership topics, create a social media group, facilitate discussions with senior scholars and practitioners, and publish a public and political leadership blog. If you have any questions or would like to join the initiative, please contact Lara van Osch ( or Laura Werkmeister ( Or join our Facebook Group! (Of course: don’t forget either PUPOL’s Facebook page!)

Research developments

A timely blog post:

Three exiting articles from our network:

Two sourcebooks of last year that everyone must keep in mind for future researches:

The latest issue of the International Journal of Public Leadership (Vol. 16 No. 4):

  • Ratnadi, N.M.D., Martunis, A., Aryanto, D. and Widanaputra, AAGP, “The hospital management responses in implementing transformational leadership style in Dr Zainoel Abidin Regional Public Hospital.”
  • Wexler, M.N. and Oberlander, J., “Public leadership and the wicked problem continuum.”
  • Mejheirkouni, A., “Exploration of servant leadership and volunteers’ commitment in the nonprofit and voluntary sector in war zones.”
  • Mau, T.A., “Representative bureaucracy as a leadership issue: the Canadian case.”
  • Nawab, A. and Asad, M.M., “Leadership practices of school principal through a distributed leadership lens: a case study of a secondary school in urban Pakistan.”

Calls for Conference Papers

The PUPOL will organize a panel at the International Research Society for Public Management Conference. The first virtual IRSPM Conference will be held on April 20 – 23, 2021. The call for paper abstracts is open until February 12, 2021. (Details of abstract submission)

The Standing Group on Elites and Political Leadership of European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) sponsors the following two workshop at the virtual Joint Sessions organized in May:

  1. Cabinet Ministers Between Politics and Policy’ workshop organized by Despina Alexiadou (University of Strathclyde) and Ilana Shpaizman (Bar Ilan University)
  2. Elites and Their Challengers? Bridging Sociological and Political Science Approaches’ workshop organized by Håkan Johansson (Lunds Universitet) and Trygve Gulbrandsen (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

The deadline for proposals is February 8, 2021.

The Standing Group also organizes eight panels in this section entitled ‘Alive and Kicking: Elites and Leaders in a (Post) Pandemic World?’ at ECPR General Conference, held between August 31 and September 3, 2021.

The Standing Group of Presidential Politics provides another attractive section about presidential leadership (entitled Presidential Leadership: Personality, Accountability, and Governance in Democracy and Autocracy) at the General Conference.

The deadline for paper and panel proposals for both ECPR sections is February 10, 2021.



Please send Rudolf Metz ( news about events, conferences, special issues, jobs, research funds, your new publications, and other relevant writings. We will share this information in our monthly newsletter and on our Facebook site.

Deadline for the next newsletter: February 20, 2021

After a successfull conference… but already looking to the future

Our 5th international conference was finished successfully online on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October 2020. We are grateful to have Leiden Leadership Centre to host PUPOL2020 “Leadership in Progress”! Ben Kuipers and the local organizing committee team made fantastic work in these challenging and unusual times. Through many interesting lectures, workshops, and seminars, we have not only learned more about new ways of analyzing and conceptualizing public and political leadership, but we have will tighten our relations reinforcing a collaboration between academia and practice that is essential to advance public leadership. We also launched our Early Career Network (more details coming soon)!

Here you will find a brief summary in word and pictures of the two conference days!

We are preparing a series of seminars for next year encouraging students and practitioners to discuss theoretical, ethical, and methodological issues of public and political leadership. We will soon provide more details!