Religion and Public administration: An Introduction

Ongaro, Edoardo and Tantardini, Michele (2023). Religion and Public administration: An Introduction. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.



Exploring the manifold relationships between religion and public administration, this topical book conceptualises and theorises the diverse influence of religions on the functioning of public administrative systems across the globe.

International and comparative in approach, this book analyses the social and public dimensions to religion and its interplay with public administration as a field of social scientific inquiry and an area of professional activity. Taking methodological agnosticism as its sociological perspective to the study of the religious experience, chapters focus on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to examine diverse religious compositions across both secularised and non-secularised societies and political regimes. The book uses a distinctive theoretical lens to analyse the influence of religions on organisational fit, public service motivation, individual and organisational behaviours and values, bureaucratic discretion, government funding, the delivery of public services, and the dynamics of social cohesion overall. It provides a fresh perspective on religion as a source of legitimacy and basis of accountability, responsibility, and delegation of power in public administration, institutional quality, and ethics.

Students and scholars interested in the religious dimensions to public administration, policy, governance and management will find use in this book’s theoretical analyses. Its empirical findings will also be valuable to policymakers working in public administration and leaders of faith organisations engaged in public services.

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