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Public Works Management & Policy

Public Works Management & Policy

Research and Practice in Infrastructure, Technology, and the Environment

eISSN: 15527549 | ISSN: 1087724X | Current volume: 29 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly

Public Works Management & Policy examines the core questions of public policy and public management theory within the context of public works, broadly defined. Recent shifts away from government implementation, in the pure sense, toward governance models where cooperation, collaboration, networks, and coproduction are central to implementation and performance improvement now require us to take a broader scope that includes private enterprise, nonprofits, and citizens. At the same time, the problems we address no longer respect traditional organizational and jurisdictional boundaries. The world in which we operate is increasingly complex and global, and new problems emerge almost instantaneously. With intergovernmental, intersectoral, and cross-jurisdictional efforts becoming increasingly common, and with technological sophistication exploding onto the marketplace through new tools and approaches, the way the public sector produces results is rapidly evolving beyond our understanding.

These complexities create new challenges for those involved in the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of public works, from both public management and public policy perspectives. Elected officials are increasingly attuned to performance, and their tendency to “follow the science” has generated a compelling demand for evidence-based practice. Public Works Management & Policy is a core resource in producing and disseminating evidence about what works and why. Collectively, these changes provide opportunities to scholars who wish to contribute to theory and practice through their research. PWM&P articles provide clear conceptual contributions to the body of theory by which they are framed, and they offer evidence with a clear practical application to policymakers, practitioners, and invested stakeholders.

In today’s global technological society, information travels instantaneously and policy innovation is necessary to keep pace with technology. Sustainability has become a core, and technology has opened new opportunities and challenges. Collaboration across governments and sectors has become more complex, but continues to characterize implementation in these areas. Solutions now cross agency boundaries, jurisdictional boundaries, and even technological boundaries.

PWMP solicits relevant research from all subfields of public administration, including budgeting and finance, human resource management, performance management, policy change, policy analysis, and so on, provided it 1) connects to a core body of public administration or policy theory (See figure 1 below), and 2) is aligned substantively with the public works management focus of the journal.

Figure 1: The Impact ‘Sweet Spot’ for PWMP


The novel developments in technology and governance require a broad interpretation of public works management that includes traditional, novel, and hybrid foci. See the examples that follow:

Traditional Public Works Activities

  • Transportation infrastructure, including: roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail, intermodal shipping, parks and recreation, and others.
  • Utilities, including: water, sewer, waste management, telephone, cellular and internet availability and connectivity.
  • Economic Development, including: industrial parks, urban redevelopment such as Tax Increment Finance Districts, or higher education capacity building
  • Capital construction projects such as schools, libraries, prisons and jails, government offices, and military installations.

Novel Public Works Activities

  • Advanced telecommunications, including fiber and satellite broadband internet connectivity for citizens, and for government agencies themselves.
  • Artificial Intelligence, cloud-based programs, servers, and data mining.
  • Autonomous implementation, autonomous decision making, and decision making by algorithm.
  • Hybrid electric vehicle charging stations, service requirements, and associated recycling and disposal challenges.
  • Space ports and commercial space travel
  • Public safety and protection beyond human policing, such as technology utilized to support law enforcement, surveillance, and national security
  • Border protection and enforcement, including systems to accommodate, support, and process migrants.

Hybrid Public Works Activities

  • Emergency management and government resilience, which depend heavily on infrastructure planning, development, and utilization in emergencies, including priority restoration following disasters.
  • New energy sources, such as solar and hydrogen
  • Sustainability considerations
  • Adapting traditional infrastructure to new uses, such as transportation corridors for electric cars or airport service infrastructure to sustainable aviation fuel.

Each of these topics is germane to PWMP’s focus, and when addressing core conceptual questions, is welcome to be submitted for consideration.

Relevant, Practical Scholarship

Public Works Management & Policy is publishes original analysis, research, and exemplary normative essays that contribute to public administration theory with a focus on substantive questions within the realm of public works and management. To that end, articles must be conceptually sound, empirically rigorous, and practically significant. The journal seeks to deliver value to both academic and practical audiences, while stimulating discourse on important questions around the world. Public Works Management & Policy is a source of evidence-based practice for practitioners and policymakers, as well as a resource for scholars in public administration and beyond.

While the pages of Public Works Management & Policy have always offered useful and valuable work on a wide range of topics, such as public infrastructure and the economy, infrastructure financing, engineering and project management, environmental planning and policy, performance and risk infrastructure, and public works legal issues, that scope is now much broader. The articles we are especially interested in publishing are those that address salient and timely questions about current and emerging problems, those that examine new and innovative forms of infrastructure and their use, adaptations of existing infrastructure to new uses, and the integration of infrastructure with the softer side of government—how it is used and how it affects governance for the better or for the worse. To that end, questions that explore the interaction between infrastructure and program and policy implementation are of particular interest; such as: 1) how novel technological infrastructure and traditional infrastructures come together to improve community resilience through emergency planning and preparedness initiatives, 2) how artificial intelligence can be utilized to analyze and predict demand for infrastructure to inform its scale and placement, or 3) how the installation of electric vehicle charging stations shapes consumer demand and facilitates sustainability goals. PWMP is most interested in articles that examine innovative approaches to novel problems while drawing from and expanding the corpus of theory that both supports and constrains our understanding of how things work and why.

Diverse, Interdisciplinary Scope

Public works infrastructure, and its management, is an inherently broad field, embracing many disciplines of study and encompassing varied areas of practice. Public Works Management & Policy encourages scholarship from public administration, public policy, public management, political science, economic development, urban planning and urban affairs, economics, sociology, public finance, engineering, environmental studies, and others. Scholarship that transcends these disciplinary boundaries or that provides interdisciplinary perspective is of special interest.

Comprehensive, Informative Features

To fully explore the field of public works, Public Works Management & Policy presents innovative, thought-provoking scholarship written in accessible language, and with direct relevance to practice and policy. All material appearing in PWMP is subjected to double-blind peer review. Features in Public Works Management & Policy are streamlined into two categories:

  • Research Article

Research articles undergo a rigorous peer-review process to ensure concerns of contribution, reliability, and validity are addressed. These pieces provide objective analysis drawn from clear conceptual foundations and are situated clearly in the literature. These original analyses provide empirically rigorous testing of hypotheses that lead to clear conclusions with practical implications for policymaking and public management in the public works sphere.

  • Viewpoint Article

Viewpoint articles undergo a lighter peer review process, typically with only two reviewers. These pieces are intended to capture salient commentary by prominent leaders, as well as research notes, studies with narrow questions and findings, agency evaluation reports, or compelling case studies with value for theory, practice, or pedagogy.

Aims and Scope:

PUBLIC WORKS MANAGEMENT & POLICY is a peer-reviewed journal providing cutting edge analysis on emerging issues in public works management and policy using core theories from public policy, public management, public administration, and related disciplines. PWMP solicits articles that not only offer practical significance to public works management, but that, in particular, contribute to the core body of theory from which the hypotheses are drawn. Public infrastructure, its planning, design, financing, and construction are all traditional foci; today, however, the journal addresses expanding forms of technological infrastructure, how infrastructure affects program implementation, and how infrastructure relates and contributes to broader societal goals such as resilience, sustainability, and social equity. PWMP seeks manuscripts that provide original research results to novel questions, that evaluate management innovations, evaluate infrastructure programs to provide evidence-based solutions, and use policy theory and policy analysis to explain programmatic evolution and performance over time. PWMP publishes rigorous research with practical value to policymakers and managers in an effort to improve our understanding of how to build, manage, and adapt infrastructure and public works to better meet emergent problems that will shape the future of governance, both globally and locally.

Jeremy Hall University of Central Florida, USA
Founding Editor
Claire L. Felbinger (In Memoriam)
Managing Editor
Patrick C. Exmeyer University of Louisville, USA
Associate Editors
Tonya Thornton Global Connective Center
Julius Nuzpekah Mississippi State University, USA
Sarah Larson Miami University, USA
Abdul-Akeem Sadiq University of Central Florida, USA
Ratna Okhai University of South Florida, USA
Editorial Board
Nicola Belle Sant'Anna Scuola Univeritaria Superiore Pisa, Italy
Karissa Bergene George Mason University, USA
Eric Boyer University of Texas at El Paso, USA
Paola Cantarelli Sant'Anna Scuola Univeritaria Superiore Pisa, Italy
Carter Casady University College London, UK
Can Chen Georgia State University, USA
Timothy Colling Michigan Technological University, USA
Alison Conway City University of New York, USA
Joseph F. Coughlin Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Handley Donna Southern Utah University, USA
Wendy Eaton Indiana Wesleyan University, USA
Laurence Ferry Durham University, UK
Luke Fowler Boise State University, USA
Michael J. Garvin Virginia Tech, USA
Nasir G. Gharaibeh Texas A&M University, USA
Neil S. Grigg Colorado State University, USA
Wendy Haynes Bridgewater State University, USA
Naim Kapucu University of Central Florida, USA
Tapio S. Katko Tampere University of Technology, Finland
John Kiefer University of New Orleans, USA
Jiseul Kim University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Gordon Kingsley Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Joung Lee American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officals, USA
Suzanne Leland University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA
Daniel Mallinson Penn State University, USA
Martin Mayer University of North Carolina, Pembroke
Steven McCann Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
Bruce McDonald North Carolina State University, USA
Sue McNeil University of Delaware, USA
Howell-Moroney Michael University of Memphis, USA
Chad Miller University of Southern Mississippi, USA
Kyle Shelton University of Minnesota, USA
Stefan Verweij University of Groningen, Netherlands
Yin Wang Shanghai University of Finance & Economics, China
Daniel Xu East Carolina University, USA
Wie Yusuf Old Dominion University, USA
Fengxiu Zhang George Mason University, USA
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  • Standard Periodical Directory (SPD)
  • Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Database
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  • Manuscripts must be submitted in Word Document to Manuscript Central. Follow this link: and create an account. Questions, comments and problems can be addressed by email to Jeremy Hall, Editor, Public Works Management & Policy, at

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to nonsubscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in Sage Choice, subject to the payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let Sage know directly if you are choosing Sage Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit Sage Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at Sage, including self/author archiving deposits (green open access) visit Sage Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

    Manuscripts should be approximately 25 typewritten, double-spaced pages, although shorter or longer manuscripts will not be excluded from consideration.

    Each author's name, title, affiliation, address, phone number, and a short biosketch of 50-words or fewer should appear on a separate page to facilitate anonymous review and electronic submission. One author must be designated the corresponding author who is in charge of all communication with PWMP.

    Authors must also include a title page, an abstract of 150 words or fewer, and five keywords written underneath to highlight the major focus of the paper.

    A conclusion should be a cogent synthesis of the paper's context without repeating the same sentences from the text. Each section—abstract with title repeated overhead, biography and all its parts, text with introduction and conclusion, references, endnotes, tables, and figures—should begin on its own page(s). Authors should follow the style in the Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association* (7th edition).

    It is the author’s responsibility to provide finished figures in a usable form. Figures should be sent as
    separate files, one figure per file. MS Word, Photoshop, tif, and jpeg files are acceptable, of sufficient size to have a resolution of at least 300 dpi for grayscale format. Vector images such as Illustrator (eps) and Excel figures are acceptable and will automatically be of sufficient resolution.

    Submission of a manuscript implies commitment to publish in the journal. Receipt of a manuscript will be acknowledged by PWMP. When a manuscript is accepted to publish, a copyright contract will be provided to each author to sign. At this point in the process, the relationship of the author(s) shifts to Sage, who sends to each author a proof that the managing editor as well as copyeditors at Sage have edited. The proof is sent to the corresponding author as a PDF file, with only minor changes expected. Any changes made by author at this point are submitted directly to Sage.

    Commentary is intended to be a forum for policy makers and opinion leaders to "discuss" emerging issues and policies affecting the public works community. Commentary articles are generally solicited by the editors and edited by the managing editor rather than subject to the normal peer-review process.

    Research & Theory are peer-reviewed articles containing original research that tests hypotheses or contributes to the theoretical or policy development of the public works field. These articles are of the nature of those published in the field of business and public administration, planning, public finance, urban affairs, risk assessment and management, geography, history, or applied engineering.

    Techniques, Cases, & Issues describe a case study or explain the application of a technique that contributes to the theory and practice of the civil infrastructure profession. These articles should integrate extant literature into the text and explain impact in terms of managerial or policy processes, better measurement techniques, or unique applications of management or policy theory.

    Research Notes are shorter pieces, 15 pages or less, that by content would fit into the Research & Theory category.

    Reviews include solicited reviews of governmental reports, research institute documents, conference proceedings, and books of interest to the public works field.

    PWMP Dialogue includes inquiries, suggested research topics, or commentary on articles published in PWMP submitted by policy scholars and readers.

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:

    • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
    • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
    • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editor is not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    *You may see APA's style blog here.

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