Table of Contents

Public Administration Reforms in Europe

Public Administration Reforms in Europe

The View from the Top

Edited by Gerhard Hammerschmid, Steven Van de Walle, Rhys Andrews and Philippe Bezes

Based on a survey of more than 6700 top civil servants in 17 European countries, this book explores the impacts of New Public Management (NPM)-style reforms in Europe from a uniquely comparative perspective. It examines and analyses empirical findings regarding the dynamics, major trends and tools of administrative reforms, with special focus on the diversity of top executives’ perceptions about the effects of those reforms.

Chapter 2: Comparative research in public administration and the contribution of the COCOPS Top Executive Survey

Steven Van de Walle, Gerhard Hammerschmid, Anca Oprisor and Vid Štimac

Subjects: business and management, public management, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public administration and management, public policy


Recent years have seen a strong growth in comparative public administration research. In Europe, increasing integration has stimulated interest in comparative studies of European countries’ administrative systems and how these are changing. There has also been a strong increase in the empirical material available for comparative analysis. Much of this material comes from international organisations, but also researchers have compiled large empirical datasets, building on a tradition of administrative elite studies. The COCOPS project has been developed as one of the largest comparative research projects in Europe ever. Its objectives are to advance the study of the transformations of European administrative systems by taking a broader perspective on public management and administrative reforms, by setting up a systematically comparative research design and by constructing an original dataset based on a large-scale executive survey. This chapter introduces the multi-country COCOPS Top Public Executive Survey, including the sample and the questionnaire.

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