Trending Interconnectedness: The Value of Comparative Analysis


Global public administration represents an under-studied current within public administration scholarship, and the experiences of those who work within organizations which span international boundaries remain under studied as well. As challenges become increasingly global in nature—migration, environmental degradation, and cybersecurity threats—so must the policies to confront those challenges have international foci. International policy is administered by public servants, which in this context are international civil servants, whose work-life is governed by unique display rules. Managing the demands of those rules requires emotional labor, and in order to understand how it is experienced by international civil servants, an expanded comparative public administration must delve into both the home cultures of civil servants and the meta-culture of international public administration. “Boundary spanning” employees must balance national and subnational differences in both display rules and emotive demands. Yet, theories of emotional labor were primarily crafted within Western cultures, and scholarship has been slow to explore how the framework of emotional labor may differ around the globe. It is imperative that scholars investigate if and where differences exist in order to provide tools to international civil servants for managing their work in a diverse, global environment.