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Author: B. Guy Peters

English

Administrative reforms have received a great deal of scholarly attention but substantive reform has been proceeding at the same time as their implementation system is being changed. These two strands of reform often have very different assumptions about public policy and about the politics that lie behind the policies. This article examines administrative reform in the United States in light of several substantive policy changes such as the ‘welfare to work’ changes in social policy and increased federal involvement in criminal justice.

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Author: B. Guy Peters

Coordination has been a continuing challenge to governments. This paper examines the nature of those challenges, and proceeds to consider the possibilities for a theory of coordination. In particular the paper considers means of overcoming the collective action problems involved in coordination through means other than hierarchy. Several alternative mechanisms for producing greater coordination in policy are examined, and then situated in their broader political and organisational contexts.

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Author: B Guy Peters

Policy design has returned to the centre of discussions of public policy, both for academics and practitioners. With that interest in policy design has come an interest in organisations and institutions that will do the designing, with much of the interest being in structures such as policy laboratories that attempt to foster innovation. These organisations tend to exist outside government hierarchies and support collaborative designing with stakeholders and citizens. This paper examines the potential of these structures from an organisational perspective. Although they do offer great promise as sources of innovation they also confront a number of institutional barriers and dilemmas. This paper focuses on those barriers and dilemmas, as well as some possible means of overcoming them.

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Author: B. Guy Peters

To understand contemporary governance one needs to be cognisant of the manner in which media, and perhaps more generally, information, is used as a component of the process. The fundamental contention of the mediatisation literature is that institutions and organisations adapt to the pervasive role of the media, and this paper argues that the same is true for processes of governance. Thus, contemporary governance reflects the extent to which the formal and informal actors in governance have adapted their behaviours to the media environment within which they function. Whatever the goals of a government, they must pursue those goals within the environment shaped (in part) by mediatisation.

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Author: B. Guy Peters

The principal roots for policy analysis were in the United States, and the ideas and structures associated with studying public policy have been diffused to much of the world. This chapter analyses the types of influences that the American tradition has had, and the extent to which this tradition has had a pervasive influence. It does, however, point to certain areas in which American scholarship and practice have lagged behind other areas of the world.

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Author: B. Guy Peters

To understand contemporary governance, one needs to be cognisant of the manner in which media, and perhaps more generally, information, is used as a component of the process. The fundamental contention of the mediatisation literature is that institutions and organisations adapt to the pervasive role of the media, and this paper argues that the same is true for processes of governance. Thus, contemporary governance reflects the extent to which the formal and informal actors in governance have adapted their behaviours to the media environment within which they function. Whatever the goals of a government, they must pursue those goals within the environment shaped (in part) by mediatisation.

Full Access
Author: B. Guy Peters

Coordination has been a continuing challenge to governments. This paper examines the nature of those challenges, and proceeds to consider the possibilities for a theory of coordination. In particular the paper considers means of overcoming the collective action problems involved in coordination through means other than hierarchy. Several alternative mechanisms for producing greater coordination in policy are examined, and then situated in their broader political and organisational contexts.

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Authors: Jon Pierre and B Guy Peters

The article addresses the issue of public sector work motivation, particular the notion of bureaucratic ‘shirking’. Although a popular theoretical model among public choice scholars of public administration, the ‘shirking’ argument has not been empirically supported. The article compares two organisational models of ensuring public servants’ compliance; a contract regime which is common in public-interest-based, Anglo American countries, and a trust-based regime found in Continental European, Scandinavian and Asian administrative systems.

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In recent years, design approaches to policymaking have gained popularity among policymakers. However, a critical reflection on their added value and on how contemporary ‘design-thinking’ approaches relates to the classical idea of public administration as a design science, is still lacking. This introductory paper reflects upon the use of design approaches in public administration. We delve into the more traditional ideas of design as launched by Simon and policy design, but also into the present-day design wave, stemming from traditional design sciences. Based upon this we distinguish between three ideal-type approaches of design currently characterising the discipline: design as optimisation, design as exploration and design as co-creation. More rigorous empirical analyses of applications of these approaches is necessary to further develop public administration as a design science. We reflect upon the question of how a more designerly way of thinking can help to improve public administration and public policy.

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