Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1468-0491
Print ISSN: 0952-1895
The Westphalian idea of sovereignty in international relations has undergone recent transformation. "Shared sovereignty" through multilevel governance describes the responsibility of the European Union (EU) and its Member States in tobacco control policy. We examine how this has occurred on the EU level through directives and recommendations, accession rules for new members, tobacco control campaigns, and financial support for antitobacco nongovernmental organizations. In particular, the negotiation and ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the participation in the FCTC Conference of the Parties illustrates shared sovereignty. The EU Commission was the lead negotiator for Member States on issues over which it had jurisdiction, while individual Member States, through the EU presidency, could negotiate on issues on which authority was divided or remained with them. Shared sovereignty through multilevel governance has become the norm in the tobacco control policy area for EU members, including having one international organization negotiate within the context of another.
The place of agriculture in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) prior to 1986 is usually described in terms of either exclusion or exemption from general trading rules. This paper reevaluates the ‘exemption’ argument and its corollary that the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) represented a punctuated equilibrium in the governance of agriculture. Instead it traces the dynamics of institutional change through the history of the GATT/WTO, distinguishing between multilateral trading rounds and the framework of trade rules as separate but linked contexts for addressing agricultural trade matters; and further disaggregating the latter into broad principles and specific rules. It is argued that the broad principles lacked detail but, paradoxically, initially this facilitated an approach to dispute settlement based on conciliation. Subsequent trade tensions exposed an inability to make definitive legal decisions on the compatibility of specific national rules with broad GATT principles. The AoA is rooted in these institutional antecedents, but claims of the legalization of the trade regime are belied by a continued reliance on political flexibility and bargaining.
Arguments for rules rather than discretion in macroeconomic policymaking facilitate the understanding of some fundamental issues of democratic theory. This article reviews four such arguments, and relates them to issues of delegation and accountability in representative government.
Previous studies have shown that agencification tends to undermine political control within a government portfolio. However, doubts have been raised as regards the robustness of these findings. In this paper we document that agency officials pay significantly less attention to signals from executive politicians than their counterparts within ministerial (cabinet-level) departments. This finding holds when we control for variation in tasks, the political salience of issue areas and officials’ rank. Simultaneously we observe that the three control variables all have an independent effect on officials’ attentiveness to a steer from above. In addition we find that the more organisational capacity available within the respective ministerial departments, the more agency personnel tend to assign weight to signals from the political leadership. We apply large-N questionnaire data at three points in time; spanning two decades and shifting administrative doctrines.
The "new politics of the welfare state", the term coined by Pierson (1996) to differentiate between the popular politics of welfare expansion and the unpopular politics of retrenchment, emphasizes a number of factors that distinguish countries in their capacity to pursue contentious measures and avoid electoral blame. Policy structures, vested interests, and insitutions play a prominant role in accounting for cross-national differences in leaders ability to diffuse responsability for divisive initiatives. This paper contends that parties are relevant to "new politics" and that, under specified insitutional conditions, their impact is counterintuitive.
This article examines how senior permanent officials in the European Commission (directorgenerals and directors) conceive of the role of nationality in their organization. Do they support a weberian ideal–typical bureaucratic organization, where merit shapes personnel selection and task organization, or do they prefer a consociational form, in which nationalities are represented in organization and policymaking? I explain variation in weberian and consociational orientations, using 105 mail questionnaires collected between July 1995 and May 1997. In explaining variation, I contrast socialization factors and factors related to the professional utility function of officials. I find that utility packs far more power than socialization. Support for consociational principles is highest among officials who belong to nationalities that are organized in strong multifunctional networks in Brussels. In an administration where nationality is a powerful principle of personnel organization, officials with the “right citizenship” have compelling incentives to reinforce its role. Professional utility is also a function of one’s position in the work environment: officials in positions of weak regulatory autonomy or dealing with quality of life issues are more likely to be consociational. Socialization is weak, though prior experience as a national civil servant reduces consociationalism and prior Commission cabinet experience increases it.
There has been considerable discussion of the decline of the nation-state. It is important, however, to set claims that the nation-state is in decline in historical context and to distinguish processes of state adaptation to crises from changes in the power of the state. The popularity of anti-state rhetoric in the 1980s and 1990s led many to confuse changes in the modes of state activity, of which there is much evidence, with a decline in the significance of the state, for which there is much less evidence.
This study examines political, institutional and economic influences on monetary policy in the long run. A monetary policy reaction function is estimated, which focuses principally on the influence of the administration, Congress and the Federal Reserve on outcomes; these influences are estimated together with a variety of economic and political controls. The findings show that partisan control of the White House is particularly important in explaining variations in the growth of the quantity of money over time. Republican control of the White House is associated with tighter money, and Democratic control with looser money, but there are exceptions. Finally, the indirect influence of partisanship on the economic variables in the reaction function suggest that the total effects are stronger than the direct effects alone.
National Differences in Jewish Victimization, 1939-1945
On average, two-thirds of the Jews in German-controlled territory during World War II did not survive. However, the degree of victimization varied considerably, depending on the area examined. In Poland, the Baltic States, the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, Greece, the territories of Yugoslavia and the Netherlands, more than 70 percent of Jews were killed. In Hungary and the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, the number of Jews killed was close to the average. In Belgium, Norway, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and Denmark, a majority of the Jews survived. At the same time, the structure of Nazi rule over Europe before and during World War II was characterized by a wide variety of administrative regimes. So far, research has not systematically linked different degrees of Jewish victimization to different kinds of administrative regimes. Did different forms of administrative regimes result in differing degrees of Jewish victimization during the Holocaust? The present paper presents both evidence and an operationalization for a related general hypothesis.
Why does the federal government provide aid for small business? This article contends that American core values are one of the sources of small business aid. Rather than taking the values/policy congruence approach of the national values school, it demonstrates a mechanism through which core values have influenced small business aid and through which core values likely influence other policies. The focus is on the processes of policy problem definition. While a role for core values in problem definition processes has been noted previously, core values have neither been a center of attention, nor have the various paths of values influence been linked. Analysis of the problems defined in the legislative histories of 39 systemically selected small business aid enactments, 1953–1993, shows avenues of values influence that have been under-appreciated or not appreciated at all.
This article tests the hypothesis that leftist governments concede higher wage increases to their public sector employees than right-wing governments. Leftist governments are expected to be more generous toward public sector employees because of their commitment to public sector intervention, and because of the heavy representation of the public sector among leftist party elite and clientele. The study examines all major wage settlements signed between 1967 and 1984 in the Canadian provincial public sector and finds that, everything else being equal, wage increases are 10% higher under leftist governments. The standard economic variables (labor demand, expected inflation and spillover from previous contracts) that have been shown to affect wage increases in the private sector also emerge as significant. Finally, the data indicate that the greater the public debt the more constrained governments feel to negotiate minimal wage increases. These findings establish that a proper understanding of public sector labor relations requires a consideration of political as well as economic variables.
This article explores the impact European Union (EU) integration has had on methods and processes of budgeting in France and Britain from 1970 to 1995. It assesses whether convergence of budgetary institutions occurs and, if so, whether it is promoted by an obligation of compliance or by an hybridization effect. Compliance refers to changes in national budgetary institutions made compulsory by membership in the EU. Hybridization emphasizes that national and EU budgetary processes are increasingly interwoven and indivisible. Public budgeting is no longer purely national because part of the decision-making on national expenditure is made at the EU level and because the national budget is closely linked to the EU budget in financial and policy terms. Based on an institutional analysis, combined with elite interviewing, the article suggests that hybridization is a significant factor contributing to a convergence of budgetary practices in Britain and France. Underlying the argument is the fact that an increasingly important function of departmental actors involves negotiating with their EU counterparts at the EU level, in addition to the conventional budgetary game at the domestic level. Regarding compliance, there is an influence as testified by significant formal institutional convergence. However, compliance seems a less effective factor in influencing convergence than hybridization because it conveys a “negative” approach to convergence, based on enforcement and sanctions. The article suggests that the convergence of administrative systems is promoted by the growing similarity of administrative practices more than by the harmonization of rules.
Overall, within the broad descriptive framework of the comparative-elites study, the special impact of New Public Management (NPM) on the German federal government is considered, but judged marginal. The mandarin status of the administrative elite prevails, despite a long-term decrease in the share of jurists and more open career patterns, both due to a first managerialist turn in the 1970s. It is argued that new administrative policies are carried out like any other substantive policy. On the polity dimension, the bureaucracy's function as the center of expertise is reflected in terms of both formal education and subjective role understanding. On the policy dimension, the 1970 reformist agenda of the Brandt government resulted in higher programmatic commitment than at the point of replication of the base line study in 1987, when the Kohl government was consolidating public finances. Under conditions such as those prevailing after national unification in 1990 and since about 1995, though, top administrators can turn quite managerial. The most significant change is observed on the politics dimension: growing party politicization of the administrative elite, in particular after fundamental government changes (1969, 1982, 1998) examined here. Functional as it may be for streamlining the ministries, the extent of party patronage may, in the long run, undermine the still-high trust in executive institutions in Germany.
The concept of a “policy community” is useful in understanding the joint efforts of national governments and domestic business interests to secure industrial competitiveness in world markets. The definitional debate accompanying the increased use of the term in political studies, on the other hand, is of marginal value in appreciating the substance of government-industry collaboration. An analytic account of the actions of two national governments grappling with the needs of industries subject to similar circumstance, as in a sectoral crisis, provides the opportunity to apply the term in a practical manner. Policy communities are no more than the institutionalized expressions of long-established relationships between private and public interests, subject to national idiosyncracies and accumulated experience. They are not the product of a deliberate and coherent design for the attainment of specific industrial goals. This point can be illustrated by reconstructing the actions of two national policy communities in crisis, that is in situations where established relationships come under greater strain than found under “normal” circumstances and, indeed, might be expected to break down entirely. A comparison of government intervention in the automobile industries of West Germany and France, 1971–1985, demonstrates the resilience of industrial policy communities. The maintenance of established relationships is shown to be part and parcel of the emerging industrial solution. Institutions and organizations involved in crisis resolution in the French and German motor industries are revealed to have dissimilar, overarching political objectives beyond the specific and immediate needs they seek to address. The imposition of such political factors onto industrial problems is not necessarily a disservice to an industry's long-term vitality.
During the 1980s the Thatcher Government implemented numerous changes to the British employment system. Most of these changes had the effect of linking the receipt of welfare benefits to an individual's willingness to participate actively within a government sponsored employment or training scheme. These changes culminated in the Social Security Act (1989) which linked the receipt of welfare payments to an individual's active job search and willingness to accept any officially offered job after a maximum grace period of 13 weeks. While these changes are important in their own right, more interestingly, most trace their origins back to the American welfare-to-work system initiated by the Reagan administration during the early 1980s. This article will demonstrate why the Thatcher government turned to the United States in the development of their employment policy. Once an explanation for this has been provided the article will highlight the key policies transferred by the Thatcher Government in the development of the British welfare-to-work system. This entire analysis will be placed within a policy transfer framework in order to illustrate its usefulness in the analysis of policy development.
This study confirms the existence of corporatist forms of interest intermediation at the micro level of four local planning authorities in London.In all four boroughs distinctions could be drawn between local business associations and metic, non-local firms. The former displayed most of the institutional characteristics outlined by Schmitter in his original definition of corporatism. In contrast the non-local or metic firms did not exhibit all these institutional characteristics at the level of local government. The conditions under which they bargained with local planning authorities (LPAs) were often influenced by statutory and other requirements handed down from central government. These requirements were themselves often the result of corporatist interest intermediation at the level of the central state.Both local business associations (LBAs) and metic production organizations (MPOs) were required by (LPAs) to implement planning policies. This process has increased in importance during the Thatcher era. Economic decline has made the local planning authorities even more dependent on private organizations for implementation than before.Local LBAs and MPOs were granted privileged access to the planning system. Only the LBAs were granted representational monopolies for their very local areas in this process. MPOs developed representational oligopolies but because they were so few in number they could be in conflict with one another over the rights to develop a particular site.In return for these representational privileges both the LBAs and MPOs were expected to moderate their demands for major departures from the approved local plans.The methods used to intermediate interests to the local planning systems were primarily informal. Although a small number of formal meetings were held each year between external organizations and the LPAs they represented a minority of the contacts between them and representatives of both LBAs and MPOs.Informal bargaining took place in two ways. First, there were issue specific negotiations over particular developments. The second type of contact was long-term, non-issue specific and primarily concerned with network building. Both types of bargaining were relatively secret and involved only the top echelons of the organizations concerned.
Political-administrative relations became an issue once politicians and administrators came to be considered as distinct actors in the public realm. This happened in the late eighteenth century, and several authors since then explored the nature of this relationship in normative and/or juridical terms. But it took almost two centuries before it became an object of systematic empirical study in a comparative perspective: Aberbach, Putnam, and Rockman (APR 1981). The APR study was the first to use survey methods and to advance empirically based theory. In this article we discuss the intellectual attention for this topic since the early nineteenth century, APR's findings and impact and—given APR's influence upon methods—some intriguing problems with the framework that they developed. Finally we list some potential new avenues of research.
During the mid-1980s and early 1990s the New Zealand economy moved from being one of the most regulated outside the former communist bloc to among the most liberal in the OECD. Largely unheralded and begun by an ostensibly social democratic Labour government, changes included the floating of the exchange rate; extensive liberalization of financial, capital and other markets; lowering of trade protection; fiscal restraint and monetary disinflation; changes to the machinery of government; corporatization and then sale of state assets; and changes to industrial relations frameworks (Castles, Gerritsen and Vowles 1996). Known as Rogernomics after Minister of Finance Roger Douglas, these economic policies were heavily derivative of neoclassical economic theories, such as the New Classical and Chicago schools, public choice and new institutional economics (Boston et al. 1996, ch. 2; Goldfinch 1997). This article explains how such radical economic restructuring occurred through the influence of a select group of strategically located institutional elites.
In this article the changes that have been implemented in the Dutch social security system are analyzed. The extensive changes are characterized as a form of “managed liberalization.” This characterization points to the paradoxical nature of these changes. On the one hand a certain liberalization can be observed (an increase of social insurance and the administration of social security via the market) while on the other hand the control of the system by the state is also increasing. This process of managed liberalization, however, takes place under an umbrella of lasting universal social protection: entitlements are still determined by law and remain collective. In this article the changes in the Dutch social security are described extensively, interpreted theoretically and analyzed in their consequences for the level of social protection. By following the process of institutional change the system of social security has undergone, the authors also try to find out what the causes of the changes are and what determines the direction the process has taken.
From March 1986 to May 1988 France was headed by a leftist President and a rightist Prime Minister. The background to this unusual situation is presented, and the experience itself — referred to as cohabitation — is discussed in detail.The complex game that the two executive leaders played during the period was regulated by the constitutional rules, conditioned by the electoral calendar and the narrowness of the prime minister's coalition majority, and moderated by public approval and the existence of a bipartisan foreign and defense policy.The 1986–1988 experience did not overtax the constitutional system, but cohabitation under different conditions could be destabilizing. Cohabitation is like the possibility of the US president being selected by the House of Representatives: not highly probable but possible, not necessarily dangerous but possibly so, and something that arouses little enthusiasm.
From 1988 to 1997, all French prime ministers launched administrative reform programs with numerous concerns for increasing efficiency, strengthening responsiveness, or redesigning political and administrative roles within the state. However, these initiatives have never led to radical and disruptive changes. The institutional legacy seems to have strongly constrained the politics of administration. What, then, is the meaning of launching administrative reforms within the French political power configuration, and how does it “fit” with the way leaders try to establish their political authority? This article provides two empirical studies of different prime ministers (Michel Rocard under the Mitterrand presidency and Alain Jupp under the Chirac presidency) that can explain the nature of the French governments' commitments to these issues. It argues that understanding administrative reforms requires a mixture of institutional and actor-centered explanations, because these policies are really leadership challenges to the preexisting institutional order. As such, they are reflexively shaped or constrained by what they try to control and define. This paper shows that for a French prime minister to define the administration as a problem while building his own leadership can jeopardize the resources he will get from that same bureaucratic administrative system. This “power-reform dilemma” may explain why administrative reforms have proven more politically effective as an instrument of order-affirming impulses rather than as a disruptive strategy.
Malta's latest round of administrative reform has produced mixed results. While it has achieved more than any previous initiative, vital elements of the reform program have not been carried out and results have fallen short of initial expectations.The reform initiative yields a number of lessons, some of which have already been brought to light—the need to keep the reform agenda small, the need for sustained political backing—and others which are less well known, such as the difficulty of creating an effective authority to direct reform, and the drawbacks to giving reform agencies lavish funding and a high profile.
The 1990s have witnessed unprecedented attempts at privatizing state-owned enterprises in virtually all OECD democracies. This contribution analyzes the extent to which the partisan control of the government can account for the differences in the privatization proceeds raised by EU and OECD countries between 1990 and 2000. It turns out that privatizations are part of a process of economic liberalization in previously highly regulated economies as well as a reaction to the fiscal policy challenges imposed by European integration and the globalization of financial markets. Partisan differences only emerge if economic problems are moderate, while intense economic, particularly fiscal, problems foreclose differing partisan strategies.
This article suggests that key bureaucrats play a decisive role in times of welfare crisis. It argues that key bureaucrats, through their advice, define both the type of welfare crisis and the range of possible solutions, which have at least two important consequences: First, it broadens the distribution of welfare cuts, as key bureaucrats—contrary to politicians—have no interests in targeting special voter groups. Second, it enables political compromises, as both the government and the opposition trust the key bureaucrats' expertise. These suggestions are tested empirically in a case study of Sweden in the 1990s. It shows that key bureaucrats did indeed influence both the distribution of the cuts and enabled a compromise between the center-right government and the Social Democratic opposition.
Population Aged 20-24 in 000s, 1990-2000
Percent of Matriculants from the Respected Age Group, 1987-1998
Undergraduate Students in the Israeli Higher Education System by Type of Sector and Year
This article examines the transformation of Israel's higher education system since the 1990s. During that period, the system underwent expansion, diversification, privatization, and internationalization in a series of pathbreaking reforms. The main argument is that while external factors—such as demographic trends—exerted pressure for change, the trajectory and policy options preferred were shaped by ideational factors. Policy entrepreneurs played a crucial role in advancing pathbreaking institutional change when they reframed policies through linking cognitive ideas of “what has to be done” with the normative ideas that granted legitimacy to the proposals for reform.
Research into policy transfer and lesson drawing has been criticized asfew authors have convincingly shown how cross-national policy learning actually influences policy formation in a particular jurisdiction. This article addresses this gap by presenting a study of the development of the 1991 health policy in New Zealand. By studying the process of policy development, rather than just a policy document, it was possible to disaggregate different aspects of the policy and to identify sources and influences. This article finds that the ‘conspiracy’ model of policy formation does not fit this case as it presents an overly simplistic view, which allows little space for policy learning. This case illustrates the subtle and multifaceted influence of different jurisdictions, different institutions, and different individuals on a given policy.
Using Census of Governments data, preferences for private and intermunicipal contracting by U.S. counties during the 1992–2002 period are modeled as a function of established economic and political factors. After distinguishing between private and intermunicipal contracting, there is no evidence that fiscal stress induces privatization. High debt levels are associated with fewer publicly delivered services, but counties with high debt are as likely to partner with neighboring municipalities as they are with private firms. Political factors are weak predictors of either form of contracting. The strongest and most reliable predictor of both private and intermunicipal contracting is the creation of new public services. These findings imply the strategic use of contracting for trial, temporary, or contingent services.
The literature on the politics of public management reform in Italy broadly contends that the country's legalistic administrative tradition suppresses reform. This article questions and qualifies this line of argument on the basis of a newly reported case of public management reform that endured for more than 10 years. The study tracks and explains the emergence of the policy issue of “government innovation” and its persistence on the specialized policy agenda of the Ministry for Public Administration. The initial emergence of the government innovation policy in Italy and its directional stability is explained by applying event-centric approaches to historical analysis, together with the institutional concept of policy subsystems. The article shows the need for modifying central arguments—both substantive and theoretical—about the politics of public management reform in Italy.
This article examines the nature of political and institutional reform initiatives that have been carried out under former president Kim Young Sam. How effective have they been in consolidating democracy in Korea? Specifically, we examine why the Kim Young Sam government's political reform campaigns have been limited, and explore the impact of this limitation on his institutional reform initiatives and the process of consolidation of democracy in Korea. We argue that Kim Young Sam's initial political reform campaigns have contributed to creating a favorable environment for his institutional reform efforts. However, limitations of these initial political reform campaigns such as political funding and bribery scandals have hampered institutional reforms. We also argue that these difficulties were intensified by public dissatisfaction with Korea's poor economic performance and International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial assistance. As a result, Kim Young Sam's moral legitimacy as a civilian and reform-oriented leader toward the public has totally evaporated. Therefore, experiences under the Kim Young Sam administration are just trials and errors of democratization that show another failure in presidential leadership in Korea. These experiences will negatively affect the consolidation process of democracy in Korea by increasing the public's distrust of government as a whole. As a result, democratic consolidation in Korea is being delayed.
Summary of Reform after the 1998 Sydney Water Crisis
The aim of this article is to understand why, in the aftermath of the 1998 Sydney water contamination crisis, policy and institutional reform was comparatively minor—despite intense scrutiny and criticism of the framework of water policy in New South Wales (NSW). The article should be of serious interest to scholars interested in crisis and policy change, rather than simply those with a particular interest in water policy in Australia. It frames the Sydney case as a disconfirming one but finds that an understanding of the stability/change relationship in NSW water policy can only partially be understood through applying key contemporary institutional, actor, and interest-centered explanations. Therefore, it probes the plausibility of an additional explanation and develops the rudiments of a new “policy configuration” approach to help explain policy stability and change. It concludes by suggesting that there is potential for a policy configuration perspective to be tested against other cases.
This article examines the impact of Britain's Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 on British central government. The article identifies six objectives for FOI in the United Kingdom and then examines to what extent FOI has met them, briefly comparing the United Kingdom with similar legislation in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. It concludes that FOI has achieved the core objectives of increasing transparency and accountability, though the latter only in particular circumstances, but not the four secondary objectives: improved decision-making by government, improved public understanding, increased participation, and trust in government. This is not because the Act has “failed” but because the objectives were overly ambitious and FOI is shaped by the political environment in which it is placed.
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Despite considerable interest in the means by which policy learning occurs, and in how it is that the framework of policy may be subject to radical change, the “black box” of economic policy making remains surprisingly murky. This article utilizes Peter Hall's concept of “social learning” to develop a more sophisticated model of policy learning; one in which paradigm failure does not necessarily lead to wholesale paradigm replacement, and in which an administrative battle of ideas may be just as important a determinant of paradigm change as a political struggle. It then applies this model in a survey of U.K. economic policy making since the 1930s: examining the shift to “Keynesianism” during the 1930s and 1940s; the substantial revision of this framework in the 1960s; the collapse of the “Keynesian-plus” framework in the 1970s; and the major revisions to the new “neoliberal” policy framework in the 1980s and 1990s.
This article provides a comparative analysis of abortion policies for 21 countries in Western Europe and North America. First, after briefly discussing the historical evolution of abortion attitudes and policies, a typology of current abortion laws is presented. Second, the mode of determining abortion policy is compared — judicial (Germany, Canada), legislative (Britain, France), and direct democracy (referenda in Italy, Ireland). Third, the question of abortion policy implementation is considered. In other words, does the legal status of abortion really make a difference regarding the pattern of availability and use of abortion services? Fourth, potential explanatory variables (left-wing party strength, feminism, Catholicism) regarding the content and process of abortion policies is evaluated.
This paper seeks to assess the tenability of Rhodes' view of the “new governance” as “governing without government,” as well as the validity of Pierre and Peters' assertions that the state is still at the center of structures and processes of governance. The case used for analysis is Sweden's ecological modernization and the implementation of Local Investment Programs for Sustainable Development. This case provides a crucial test of the contradictory propositions of Rhodes and Pierre and Peters. Contrary to Rhodes' assertions, central government held the initiative in the process of implementing Sweden's ecological modernization. In line with the arrguments of Pierre and Peters central government created new structures and processes of governance to keep its initiative over constitutionally independent expert agencies and municipal governments—exactly those actors that, in Rhodes' view, could make central governmental steering well nigh impossible. As the paper illustrates, what government gains in direct control over the process, it may well lose in terms of the end results. The case of “new governance” analyzed here thus directs attention to the critical interplay between structure, process, and end results, and to government's role in governance.
In recent years there has been a growing body of literature within political science and international studies that directly and indirectly uses, discusses and analyzes the processes involved in lesson-drawing, policy convergence, policy diffusion and policy transfer. While the terminology and focus often vary, all of these studies are concerned with a similar process in which knowledge about policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in one political setting (past or present) is used in the development of policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in another political setting.Given that this is a growing phenomenon, it is something that anyone studying public policy needs to consider. As such, this article is divided into four major sections. The first section briefly considers the extent of, and reasons for, the growth of policy transfer. The second section then outlines a framework for the analysis of transfer. From here a third section presents a continuum for distinguishing between different types of policy transfer. Finally, the last section addresses the relationship between policy transfer and policy “failure.”
Modern institutional theory specifies two different aspects of institutions. The first aspect—and by far the predominant perspective—sees institutions as recurrent patterns of behavior, values, norms and practices which guide social and political behavior. The second aspect refers to the manifest institutional systems of the state. These two sides of institutions are supposed to be mutually reinforcing. Thus, institutions are “embedded” in overarching systems of values at the same time as they “constrain” behavior. This article takes exactly the opposite approach and seeks to separate the two different meanings of institutions in order to explain changes in the effective capabilities of manifest institutions. Using the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) as an empirical case, the argument advanced in the article is that variations in the institutional leverage and capacity of MITI can to a significant extent be explained by changes in the relationship between “abstract” and “manifest” institutions, i.e. the extent to which the institutional arrangement of the state reflects predominant systems of values, norms and beliefs in society. In addition to the vast literature on institutional theory, the article draws on a series of interviews with MITI senior officials between 1988 and 1996 as well as on the literature on Japanese political economy.
This article explores how the relative centralization of decisionmaking authority can affect a societal group's ability to achieve its interests. It examines the US semiconductor industry's efforts to persuade the Reagan administration to press Japan on its import barriers and its firms' trade practices. I find that the industry's eventual success was facilitated by an institutional change that centralized the structure of decisionmaking authority. Centralization proved more favorable to the industry's influence in this case because it reduced the number of competing state interests involved in policymaking and concentrated authority in state units that shared the industry's preferences. To account for the change in this structure I focus on the interplay between government officials and policy windows. The analysis suggests that centralization may under some conditions be more conducive than decentralized structures to societal influence, and that modest institutional changes can have significant policy implications.
This article examines the post-accession durability of EU civil service policy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs). Civil service professionalization was a condition for EU membership but the European Commission has no particular sanctions available if CEECs reverse pre-accession reforms after gaining membership. Comparing eight CEECs that joined the EU in 2004, the article finds that post-accession civil service developments are characterized by great diversity. The three Baltic States continued civil service reforms, while Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia are classified as cases of post-accession reform reversal. The post-accession pathway of Hungary is identified as a case of reform reorientation. The diversity in post-accession pathways was almost exclusively the result of domestic political constellations, in particular, patterns of government alternation after accession. There were hardly any factors that could have locked in the level of professionalization that had been reached at the time of accession.
One type of new public management reform has been the devolution of services to quasi-autonomous single purpose governments. This research examines the implications of using a particular type of single purpose government, known as a public authority, in a politically contentious policy setting. Public authorities are generally observed to be highly effective in accomplishing their desired ends in the face of political controversy. However, in examining cases of New York State public authorities siting and developing landfills and incinerators, this research found that they were far less effective than their general purpose government counterparts. The cases suggest that the public authorities created a paradox of power and professionalism. Many public authorities were created to protect professional decision making from political influence, but as a result, they had few resources to bargain in the political process. However, if a public authority had political resources, they had less need to be professional.
As well as better efficiency and improved services, privatization has also often promised improved accountability. But how does the empirical evidence on this look and what are the lessons here? This article looks at the notion of accountability and the degree to which privatizing public sector activities might improve or worsen such mechanisms. It then looks specifically at the different systems of accountability existing following three privatization activities in Victoria and compares these against that existing previously under public operation. The sale of electricity sector enterprises, the operation of urban rail service franchises, and the implementation of a public–private partnership project to supply transport infrastructure are adopted as case studies. For each case study, accountability systems are articulated and the operation of these systems is discussed. Overall, the article analyses the effectiveness of accountability systems now operating in the privatized state from the perspective of stakeholders. Importantly, the degree to which trade-offs may have been made under new accountability arrangements is also discussed. Finally, the article draws together some general lessons on accountability for future privatization activities and proposes a conceptual model for a pyramid of accountability.
Descriptive Statistics of Independent and Dependent Variables in the Study (n = 267)
Regression Results (Standardized Coefficients) with External and Internal Sector Variable
Regression Results (Estimates and Standard Errors) Testing the Nonlinear Relationship of the Mission Variable
Under the global pressure of information technology, the adoption of web-based technologies in public administration has created a new government-and-citizen interface. However, whether e-government will unambiguously lead to a more transparent, interactive, open and hence, accountable, government remains a central question. Applying a framework of global pressure effects on bureaucratic change, this paper conducts an empirical study on website openness and accountability in fourteen countries. Even when overall accountability levels rise, the accountability gap between different national bureaucracies often remains intact as web-based technologies typically maintain or reinforce the existing practices. The question of whether e-government promotes accountability depends on what kind of bureaucracy one is referring to in the first place. In the current debate about global convergence and national divergence on the effect of globalization on public bureaucracies, the spread of e-government provides a case of convergence in practice rather than in results.
Understandings of administrative accountability in the “Westminster” democracies remain too closely linked to the institutional arrangements through which accountability has traditionally been exacted in these countries. This has prevented a full appreciation of the nature and extent of changes which have been under way for some time. The article argues that a refined concept of accountability and five subordinate “conceptions” of accountability, corresponding to distinctive sets of institutional arrangements, are needed to comprehend the relevant changes. The identification of multiple options for administrative accountability, in turn, raises questions about how the different accountability systems are to be chosen and combined to maximize accountability without impairing administrative effectiveness.
Top-cited authors
David Marsh
  • University of Canberra
Bo Rothstein
  • University of Gothenburg
Jan Teorell
  • Lund University
Derk Loorbach
  • DRIFT Dutch Research Institute for Transitions
Patrick Le Galès
  • Sciences Po Paris