Resistance or reinforcement? A critical discourse analysis of racism and anti-Blackness in public administration scholarship

This article identifies the ways that White supremacy manifests throughout the field of public administration in its research and scholarship. Through a critical discourse analysis of symposia over a period of 20 years (2000–2020) in three foremost public administration journals, this paper investigates the extent to which each journal either reinforces or resists systemic racism. Peer-reviewed journals serve as gatekeepers to advancing and shaping the direction of research; as such, symposia are a mechanism through which editors signal interest, create intellectual space, open dialogue in a particular research direction, and share editorial power with guest editors who either represent marginalized or hegemonic identities and positions. Our analysis reveals there is an opportunity to enhance race-consciousness, intentional anti-racist language, power-sharing, and resistance in future symposia. The article concludes by offering a path forward toward dismantling, reconciling, and repairing the entrenched, systemic, and historic racism and anti-Blackness in the field of public administration.

This article identifies the ways that White supremacy manifests throughout the field of public administration in its research and scholarship. Through a critical discourse analysis of symposia over a period of 20 years (2000–2020) in three foremost public administration journals, this paper investigates the extent to which each journal either reinforces or resists systemic racism. Peer-reviewed journals serve as gatekeepers to advancing and shaping the direction of research; as such, symposia are a mechanism through which editors signal interest, create intellectual space, open dialogue in a particular research direction, and share editorial power with guest editors who either represent marginalized or hegemonic identities and positions. Our analysis reveals there is an opportunity to enhance race-consciousness, intentional anti-racist language, power-sharing, and resistance in future symposia. The article concludes by offering a path forward toward dismantling, reconciling, and repairing the entrenched, systemic, and historic racism and anti-Blackness in the field of public administration.

File Type: 1918990
Categories: Equity, Racial Equity, Representation, Social Justice