Photo of Leslie A. Pal

Leslie A. Pal

Public policy analysis; public management reform; international organization

Phone:613-520-2600 x 2554
Office:5132 Richcraft Hall

Chancellor’s Professor

BA, Joint Honours in Political Science and Sociology (Mount Allison University, Canada)
MA in Political Science (Queen’s University, Canada)
PhD in Political Science (Queen’s University, Canada)

Leslie’s research uniquely engages public administration and public policy from both a rich theoretical as well as practical perspective. Currently he is working on global public policy networks around public sector reform, focusing specifically on the role of international organizations.

The focus of my work has always been on public policy, but it is no longer possible to think of domestic policy arenas as distinct from international ones. Policy issues now get processed and implemented in complex ways that certainly continue to engage governments and states, but now include international organizations, transnational NGOs and civil society, think tanks, foundation, consultants, and even academic communities. How these networks operate (or don’t), and how they contribute to global governance (or don’t) is a central issue in trying to understand contemporary governance. Within this broad framework, I’ve been exploring debates and conversations about “governance” itself, or what constitutes an effective and efficient public sector, and how to build and strengthen it. This too is a central issue: citizens demand and rightly expect certain basic standards of service and performance from their governments, and too often those governments fall short, and in too many cases, far short. How to improve the practical  performance of government to better respond to citizens is a key part of my research agenda.

Selected Publications

Beyond Policy Analysis: Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times (5th Ed.) (Toronto: Nelson Education, 2014).

Frontiers of Governance: The OECD and Global Public Management Reform (Aldershot: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Pal, L. A. and I. D. Clark (2015). “Making reform stick: Political acumen as an element of political capacity for policy change and innovation.” Policy and Society 34: 247-257.

“Introduction: The OECD and Policy Transfer: Comparative Case Studies,” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 16: 3 (May 2014): 195-200. [Guest editor of special issue]

“Modernizing Government”: Mapping Global Public Policy Networks,” (with Kathleen McNutt) Governance, 24: 3 (2011): 439-67.

Funded Research

“Public Sector Reform and Best Practices: A Comparative Analysis.” (with Ian D. Clark, University of Toronto).Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Standard Grant, $176,000. 2012-2016

“Modernizing Government: Global Policy Networks.” Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Standard Grant, $88, 615. 2007-2011

Recent Teaching

Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance (MA)

Foundations of Policy Analysis (PhD)

Recent Supervisions

Helen Smiley, Supervision of Ph.D. Dissertation (January 2012)

Farzana Jiwani, Supervision of Ph.D. Dissertation (June 2013)

Alexandre Couture-Gagnon, Supervision of Ph.D. Dissertation (September 2013)

Christian Bordeleau, Supervision of Ph.D. Dissertation (October 2013)

Recent Editorships or Academic Offices

Member, Executive Committee of the International Political Science Association, 2006-2012

Special Issues Editor, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 2015 – present

Member, Editorial Board, Canadian Political Science Review, Policy & Society

Member (currently, and first chair), Accreditation Board, Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration