Languages and Public Administration in Europe

Ongaro, Edoardo and Van Thiel, Sandra (2018). Languages and Public Administration in Europe. In: Ongaro, Edoardo and Van Thiel, Sandra eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 61–98.



One of the key features of public administration in Europe is that multiple languages are in use, both in the public and academic debates. Language shapes thought, debate and hence also research. To find out which problems researchers run into when they want to convey results of their research and the debates on public administration to academics and practitioners in other countries, we have asked a number of scholars to describe how several key concepts in public administration and public management are translated into their native language and which problems they encounter when doing so. Their contributions make up for the largest part of this chapter, preceded by a short analysis and commentary on some of the common problems and lessons that should be drawn.

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