Master of Public Administration

Emeritus Professor John HalliganProfessor of Public Administration and Governance


Address: Building 23, Level B University of Canberra Phone: + 61 (0) 2 6201 2725


Centre for Change Governance


Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra

Research Interests

Comparative public management and governance, public sector reform, performance management and government institutions



John Halligan is Emeritus Professor of Public Administration and Governance, at the University of Canberra, Australia.

His research interests are comparative public management and governance, specifically public sector reform, performance management and government institutions. He specialises in the Anglophone countries of Australia and New Zealand, and for comparative purposes, Canada and the United Kingdom. Current studies are Corporate Governance in the Public Sector, Performance Management, and a comparative analysis of public management.

He is project director of a major ARC research project on Whole of Government in the Australian Public Sector. His main interests in the project are: whole of government as an approach to public sector management coordination in government, including the impact of new experiments role of central agencies in steering and coordinating public sector change (including the contribution of whole of government to cultural change).

Professor Halligan has held academic appointments at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, and visiting positions at various institutions including Georgetown University (Washington DC), Australian National University, Catholic University of Leuven and the Victoria University of Wellington.

Professional activities include Deputy President, Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT Division). His consultancies include projects with international organisations: OECD, Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations Development Program and World Bank; and with Australian government departments and state and local governments.


Selected Publications

  • Craft, J. and Halligan, J. (2017) ‘Assessing 30 years of Westminster Policy Advisory System Experience’, Policy Sciences, 50, 1, pp. 47-62
  • Halligan, J. (2015) Public Administration in the Australia Journal of Political Science, 1966–2014, Australia Journal of Political Science, 50(4), pp.707-718.
  • Halligan, J. and Reid, R. (2016) ‘Conflict and Consensus in Committees of the Australian Parliament’, Parliamentary Affairs, 69(2), pp.230-248
  • Halligan, J. (2015) Coordination of welfare through a large integrated organisation: the Australian Department of Human Services. Public Management Review, 17(7), pp.1002-1020.
  • Halligan, J. and Hu, R. (2015) ‘Knowing the Past for a Better Future: an Introduction to the Special Issue on Centenary Canberra’, Policy Studies, 36(1), pp.1-3.
  • Halligan, J. (2015) ‘Governance in a Hybrid System: designing and institutionalising the Australian Capital Territory’, Policy Studies, 36(1), pp.4-17.
  • Halligan, J. ‘Anglophone Systems: Diffusion and Policy Transfer within an Administrative Tradition’ in F. van der Meer and J. Raadschelders (eds.), The Civil Service in the 21st century, 2nd edition, Palgrave, 2015.
  •  Halligan, J. ‘Capacity, Complexity and Public Sector Reform in Australia’ in A. Massey and K. Miller (eds.) The International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance, Edward Elgar, 2015.
  • Halligan, J. ‘Australia’, in A. Hondeghem and M. Van Wart (eds.), Leadership and Culture: Comparative Models of Top Civil Servant Training, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.  
  •  Halligan, J. ‘Governance Reforms and Public Administration in Old Commonwealth Countries’, in N. Ahmed (ed.), Forty Years of Public Administration and Governance in Bangladesh, University Press Limited, 2015.
  • van Dooren, W., Bouckaert, G. and Halligan, J. (2015) Performance Management in the Public Sector, 2nd edition, Routledge,.
  • Burmester, B. and Halligan, J. ‘Public Service Reform in Australia’, in C. Aulich (ed.) Gillard Governments, Melbourne University Press, 2014.
  • O’Flynn, J., Blackman, D. and Halligan, J. (eds.) (2014) Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy: The International Experience, Routledge, London,.
  • Halligan, J. ‘The Role and Significance of Context in Comparing Country Systems’, in C. Pollitt (ed.) Context in Public Policy and Management, Edward Elgar, 2013.
  • Halligan, J. ‘Reintegrating Government in Third Generation Reforms of Australia and New Zealand’ in Andrew Massey (ed.) Public Sector Reform, Sage Library of the Public Sector, Sage, July 2013. 
  •  Halligan, J. ‘Reform of Public Sector Governance in Australia,’ in Para uma Reforma Abrangente da Organização E Gestão Do Sector Público: Towards a Comprehensive Reform of Public Governance, Banco de Portugal, Lisboa, 2013, pp. 75-94.
  • Halligan, J. (2013) ‘The Evolution of Public Service Bargains of Australian Senior Public Servants’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 79(1), pp. 111-129.
  • Boston, J. and Halligan, J. ‘Political Management and the New Political Governance: Reconciling Political Responsiveness and Neutral Competence’ in H. Bakvis and M.D. Jarvis (eds.) From New Public Management to the New Political Governance. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012.
  • Edwards, M., Halligan, J., Horrigan, B. and Nicoll, G. (2012) Public Sector Governance in Australia ANU Press, 2012.
  • Halligan, J., Sarrico, C.S. and Rhodes, M.L. (2012) ‘On the road to performance governance in the public domain?’, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 61 (3), pp.224-234.
  • Halligan, J. (2012) ‘Changing Approaches to Public Sector Reform in an Anglophone Country: The Australian Case in Comparative Perspective, Croatian and Comparative Public Administration, 4, 983-1001
  • Halligan, J. ‘Leadership and the Senior Service from a Comparative Perspective', in B.G. Peters and J. Pierre (eds.) Handbook of Public Administration, London, 2012, 98-108.
  • Halligan, J. and James, O. ‘Semi-autonomous Bodies in Anglo-American Countries’, in G. Bouckaert, P. Laegreid, S. van Thiel & K. Verhoest, Government Agencies: Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries, Palgrave, 2012.
  • Bouckaert, G. and Halligan, J., ‘Managing Performance Across Levels of Government: lessons learned or reproducing disconnects?’ in Eduardo Ongardo, Andrew Massey, Marc Holzer and Ellen Wayenberg (eds.) Policy, Performance and Management in Governance and Intergovernmental Relations, Edward Elgar, 2011.
  • Halligan, J. and Sadleir, C. ‘Australian Public Service System’, in A. Massey (ed.) International Handbook on Civil Service Systems, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2011.
  • Halligan, J. ‘Central Steering in Australia’ in C. Dahlström, B. G. Peters and J. Pierre (eds.) Steering from the Centre: Strengthening Political Control in Western Democracies, University of Toronto Press, 2011.
  •  Halligan, J., O’Flynn, J. and Buick, F. ‘Experiments with Joined-Up, Horizontal and Whole-of-Government in Anglophone Countries’ in A. Massey (ed.) International Handbook on Civil Service Systems, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2011.
  •  O’Flynn, J., Buick, F., Blackman, D., Halligan, J. (2011) ‘You win some, you lose some: experiments with joined-up government’, International Journal of Public Administration, 34(4), pp.244-54.
  • van Dooren, W., Bouckaert, G. and Halligan, J. (2010) Performance Management in the Public Sector, Routledge, London.
  • Halligan, J. (2008) The Centrelink Experiment: Innovation in Service Delivery, ANU Press, 2008.
  • Bouckaert, G. and Halligan, J. (2008) Managing Performance: International Comparisons, Routledge, London.
  • Halligan, J., Power, J. and Miller, R. (2007) Parliament in the 21st Century: Institutional Reform and Emerging Roles, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
Research Project & Grants
PhD Supervision

Areas of Supervision

  • Comparative public management and governance
  • Public sector reform
  • Performance management
  • Government institutions

Involvement in PhD Supervisory Panels

  • Taufik Damhuri, "What factors influence the success or failure of coordination practices in central government of Indonesia" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Ben Hamer, "A critical assessment of leadership capability in the Australian Public Sector" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Lewis Hawke, "Why do public sector performance management regimes fail?" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Rohmat Rohmat, "Public private partnerships in the state asset management context of a national government: The case of Indonesia" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Thaneshwar Bhusal, "Examining Nepal’s participatory planning: how does the planning process facilitate citizen participation when there are no local elections?" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Graham Smith, "Factors influencing changes to performance measures of Australian Government agencies", (Primary Supervisor)


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