The current age of political turbulence – expressed through citizen dissatisfaction and populist politics – represents a fundamental challenge to the authority of the institutions of the administrative state. As public administration is central to democratic governance, as it connects citizens to the state, it is central to explore sources of citizen disconnection and administrative efforts to reconnect citizens with the state.
ReConnect investigates how calls for more ‘responsive’ administrative state institutions have developed – both among citizens and politicians – and how the administrative state has sought to become more responsive, especially when simultaneously faced with expectations of neutrality and impartiality.
ReConnect explores, using mixed methods, across European jurisdictions, five distinct citizen-focused dimensions of the administrative state: constitutional, regulatory, enabling, consumer-protecting and consulting dimensions. Its findings will contribute to both scientific and public debates about this important topic.