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Korean-Hungarian perspectives

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On the 1st of June 2015 Prof. Dr. András Patyi received the president’s delegation of the Korean Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) at the National University of Public Service (NUPS).

This was the first time that our Korean partner visited Hungary. During their stay the delegation participated in the 1st Hungary-Korea Picnic at Orczy Park where they had a meeting with H.E. Yim Geun-hyeong Ambassador of the republic of Korea to Hungary, Mr László L. Simon, Deputy-Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office and the President of the Hungary-Korea Department of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Subsequently, negotiations have taken place with Prof. Dr. András Patyi, Rector of NUPS, Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing education and International Affairs, Prof. Dr. György Kiss, Dean of the Faculty of Public Administration, Dr. Péter Tálas Dean of the Faculty of International and European Studies and dr. Péter Princzinger, Director of the Institute of Executive Training and Continuing Education.

NUPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KIPA in spring 2014. The two institutions have similar mission in their own national public administration system (education, research, think tank) and their cooperation is an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences in the field of public administration reform and good governance researches between the European and Asian systems. Accordingly, NUPS will mediate the characteristics of the European network (EUPAN-DISPA and EIPA) to South Korea while KIPA will share its experiences in the field of innovative Asian public Administration and high-tech e-government. Both institutions have strong connection with OECD which also provides an excellent platform for cooperation.

The next stage of the Korea-Hungary cooperation will be the analysis of the Good Governance Index, developed by the National University of Public Service, in Seoul in September.

Latest publication on Hungarian Public Administration

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A summary of Hungarian public administration science in the last 25 years has been published in the form of the volume “Hungarian Public Administration and Administrative Law”. The book was introduced to the public on the 30th of October at the Ludovika Campus of NUPS.

The event was opened by Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs at NUPS, who reminded that the English publication is the achievement of joint efforts by the National University of Public Service and the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary.

The volume, edited by Prof. Dr. András Patyi, Rector of NUPS and Dr. Ádám Rixer, Head of the Department of Public Administration Law at Károli Gáspár University, reflects the work of 23 authors including rectors, members from the Constitutional Court of Hungary and the Curia of Hungary along with several professors, associate professors and academic colleagues. Vice-Rector Kis added that the primary aim of this volume is “to introduce the main developments of the last 25 years in Hungarian public administration and state system to the international – first and foremost academic and professional – circles”.

Professor Iván Halász, Head of the Department of European and Comparative Public Law at NUPS reminded that the aspects of editing were standardized, hence each chapter includes academic and descriptive parts as well as debates. Furthermore, he emphasized that the content of the book can also be practical for experts of other areas, such as constitutional law or minority rights. According to Professor Halász, the volume’s value is increased by the fact that most issues are discussed in a historical context, primarily from the view of the last 25 years, yet the book includes earlier references as well.

Professor Ilona Kovács Pálné, lecturer at the University of Pécs and corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences pointed out that the volume symbolizes a generational shift, since the authors are mostly younger academicians. She added that the volume is a crucial enterprise in that it provides an opportunity for foreign and domestic experts of public administration to review and understand the contemporary situation. Moreover, she reminded that the volume’s importance also stems from the authors’ and editors’ efforts to thoroughly review the last 25 years of Hungarian public administration science.

Dr. Gábor Baranyai, Governmental Commissioner for the sustainable utilization of natural resources divided by national borders emphasized that the volume has filled a gap in the relevant area of research and reminded that “the Hungarian public administration is essentially of high quality in a European comparison and this book is a practical instrument in all respect to further build on the achievements of public administration science while spreading their news across the world”.

Vice-Rector Kis added that the volume was dedicated to the late Lajos Lőrincz, academician and professor of public law and an internationally renowned expert of public administration science. His intellectual heritage is carried forth by the National University of Public Service and the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary.

Roundtable Discussion on State Science

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The National University of Public Service has initiated a series of roundtable discussions on state science. The first of four discussions was held on the 29th of October 2014 at the Ludovika Campus of NUPS under the moderation of Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Dr. András Tamás of the Institute of State and Social Theory at the Faculty of Public Administration reminded that even though the state itself has been in existence for a long time, state science was only displayed in fragments prior to the age of enlightenment. Accordingly, the first roundtable discussion focused on the essence of state science.

Professor Tamás also noted that public administration law has entered Hungarian higher level education only in the middle of the 19th century, adding that although state science is neither history, nor law or sociology, it contains elements of all of these fields of science. Another point of view, according to Professor Tamás, is that the state can most likely be defined through various areas of law, however, it is an interesting fact that the Roman Empire for example did not have public administration law, nor a constitution for that matter.

He emphasized that the scientific explanation of the state was introduced through the works of Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. In contrast, contemporary views on the subject are not that extensive but give rise to other formations such as political science. According to Professor Tamás, the achievements of both normative and non-normative sciences should be re-synthesized, although that development is for the future.

Furthermore, he shared his view that the public’s concept of the state has significantly changed in the last 150 years. A whole new kind of society can be constructed through marketing and business interests and while people used to identify aims and common values for humanity, these have been replaced by relative theories such as the concept and definition of good governance.

Professor György Jenei at the roundtable focused on public policy decision-making. As he pointed out, public policy decisions in post-parliamentarian democracies are the products of bargains between the government and different groups of society. Professor Jenei added there are signs that the thinking on state science could re-gain a single framework thanks to neo-Weberian theory.

In contrast with the view of Professor Tamás, Professor Gábor Máthé has the opinion that state science has a history of not 150 but 300 years with the first modern theory of state being introduced by Niccoló Machiavelli. In his debate, Professor Máthé emphasized that academicians do not believe in the common and continuous development of history and state science but rather support the idea of studying variegation in this matter. He added that the state science of the 21st century has had to deal with the formation of a supranational space, reminding the audience of the emergence of transnational law and of the fact that the largest multinational companies’ respective budgets are of similar size to those of some states.

NISPAcee Conference in Budapest

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The Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee) held its 22nd annual international conference in Budapest on the 22-24th of May. With over 350 participants from 41 countries, the event has been one of the most successful conferences co-organized by the National University of Public Service (NUPS).

The joint event of NUPS and the Corvinus University of Budapest consisted of 12 working groups and 11 panels where participants could display their latest research results in the field of public administration.

The National University of Public Service was represented by 43 colleagues in the working groups and panels focusing on public administration career and training, e-government, good governance, urbanization, territorial public administration and issues of internal security.

The co-operation of NUPS and the Chinese Academy of Governance (CAG) enabled the organization of a special panel providing insight on the developments of public administration in the Far East.

The Erzsébet Programme, the Hungarian Public Administration Scholarship Programme and the Magyary Zoltán Programme were also introduced as one of the region’s innovative public administration practices.

The University is proud to have had one of its lecturers and two of its PhD students win the Best Paper award of the Working Group on e-Government. Accordingly, Dr. András Nemeslaki, Márta Aranyossy and Adrienn Fekó received a proscription to several notable journals.

In addition, NUPS intends to advance on this path, as this year’s open university of the Visegrád countries in Prague offers free participation for two students of NUPS.

The conference, the patron of which was the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, was held under the project “Knowledge-based public service advancement” within the framework of the State Reform Operative Programme 2.2.21.