Political Organization and Multi Level Governance

New book: The Ashgate Research Companion to New Public Management

The book is edited by Per Lægreid with the Department of Administration and Organization Theory and Tom Christensen with the University of Oslo. Several of the authors contributing in the book are amongst the internationally leading scholars within the field. Contributors from the Department of Adminsitration and Organization Theory are Paul G. Roness, Ivar Bleiklie and Haldor Byrkjeflot.

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The Companion provides the first comprehensive overview of the most important changes in democratic administrative reform in the post-War era. …. Whether one is an ardent supporter or determined critic of these reforms, the Companion will serve as a starting point for analysis and assessment.   - Mark Considine, University of Melbourne, Australia -


This excellent volume presents a comprehensive, systematic and provocative review …A must collection for anyone interested in contemporary administrative reform.  - Joel D. Aberbach, Center for American Politics and Public Policy, UCLA, USA -


If you want to understand how and why the public sector has changed in the last twenty years, and how and why it has resisted or translated change, this is the definitive account to read.      - Werner Jann, University of Potsdam, Germany -



This collection provides a comprehensive, state-of-the art review of current research in the field of New Public Management (NPM) reform. Aimed primarily at a readership with a special interest in contemporary public-sector reforms, The Ashgate Research Companion to New Public Management offers a refreshing and up-to-date analysis of key issues of modern administrative reforms.

This volume comprises a general introduction and twenty-nine chapters divided into six thematic sessions, each with chapters ranging across a variety of crucial topics in the field of New Public Management reforms and beyond.

The principal themes to be addressed are:

• Part 1 focuses on the processes and driving forces examining the 'why' question. Basic theoretical foundations are discussed as well as considering the importance of institutional environments, copying, diffusion and translation of reform ideas and solutions among countries

• Part 2 examines the question of convergence or divergence among countries. Four families of countries with different state traditions are examined: Anglo-Saxon countries, Continental Europe, Asian countries and Scandinavia.

• Part 3 addresses developments in specific sectors and policy areas such as the 'soft' welfare sector where reforms have taken place in the hospital system, universities and the welfare administration, and the 'harder' sectors like the regulation of utilities in areas such as telecommunications and energy.

• Part 4 focuses on specific features and components of NPM including structural devolution, autonomy, performance management, competition and privatization and public-private partnerships.

• Part 5 raises the important question of the effects and implications of NPM reforms. This section analyzes both the more direct and the narrower effects on efficiency and the broader impact on democracy, trust and public sector values.

• Part 6 goes beyond the NPM movement and asks what new trends are occurring. Questions are examined by focusing on whole-of-government initiatives, Neo-Weberian models and new public governance as a new trend.

Covering not only the NPM movement in general but also the driving forces behind the reform and its various trajectories and special features, this important contribution is essential reading for students and anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of administrative reform.

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