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Reforming the welfare state

Reforming the Welfare State: Accountability, Democracy and Management is a research project located at the Uni Rokkan Centre. The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council through the VAM programme, and it is headed by Professor Per Lægreid.

The project will run from 2011 and throughout 2014, and is located at the Uni Rokkan Centre in Bergen. The project’s main topic revolves around the dynamics between accountability and reforms, and will assess these dynamics in three sectors of the welfare state. Moreover, the project has a distinct comparative ambition, and will conduct comparative analyses between Norway, Denmark and Germany.

Political legitimacy is a precondition for the sustainability of the welfare state, and it is for this reason that the project aims to address how recent welfare state reforms have affected political governance and the relationship between the state and its citizens. Such reforms have often focused on the establishment of managerial accountability, neglecting the critical issue of how to maintain and develop mechanisms for political accountability. Converging trends towards New Public Management have affected the balance between managerial autonomy and political accountability across welfare sectors and countries. To what extent has it been possible to combine the various modes of accountability? In what way, for what and to whom are public managers in the various welfare services held accountable?

Read more on the project homepage