These papers examine the dynamics of comprehensive civil service reform in Norway, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. The book challenges the globalization thesis, which maintains that New Public Management is spreading fast around the world and generating convergence between civil service systems. The authors argue that administrative reforms are transformed by a complex mixture of environmental pressure, polity features and historical and institutional contexts and that this transformation implies substantial divergence and organizational variety and heterogeneity. There is therefore a need to look behind the new NPM orthodoxy and to develop a more differentiated view of the problems of governing the public sector. Three forms of NPM are studied in the text. First, the transformation of the reforms themselves, which is examined by focusing on NPM reform processes, ideas and content. Second, the transformation of administrative systems - the effects of NPM reforms on political-administrative control, organized interests, policy capacity and governmental culture. Third, the transformation of theory and the implications of NPM for reform theory and democratic ideas.
Table of Contents
A transformative perspective on administrative reforms. Part 1 The transformation of administrative reforms - NPM ideas and processes: national, international and transnational constructions of new public management; the process of reform in the era of public sector transformation. Part 2 The transformation of administrative systems - effects of NPM: new public management - undermining political control?; the effects of corporatization on political control; transforming top civil servant systems; transforming state employees' unions; policy capacity and the effects of new public management; transforming government culture - a sceptical view of new public management. Part 3 The transformation of reform theory and democratic ideas: reform theory meets new public management; transforming politics - towards new or lesser roles for democratic institutions?; transforming governance in the new millennium.