Dissertation Research in Public Administration in China

Yijia Jing


Using the evaluation framework originally developed by McCurdy and Cleary, this article examines the quality of 132 public administration dissertations produced in mainland China between 2002 and 2006. In general, the quality of these PA dissertations can be considered unsatisfactory in all six criteria: research question, validity, theory relevance, causality, importance, and innovativeness. A comparison between these dissertations and their counterparts produced in the US in 1981, 1990 and 1998 shows that they are similar to the US dissertations from 1981. Major institutional problems that have led to inadequate PA doctoral research, including the lack of a research orientation, rigid PhD advisor institutions, and maladjustment to internationalization, are identified and discussed. While there is a prevailing consensus in China of building PA research on contemporary social science standards, real efforts and institutional reforms are urgently needed.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22140/cpar.v5i1/2.78


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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University.