Public Sector Employment in Ten Western Countries
Edited by Hans-Ulrich Derlien and B. Guy Peters
Hans-Ulrich Derlien and B. Guy Peters Since the 1990s it has become fashionable to consider the ‘waning of the state’, the ‘transformation of the state’ or ‘the hollowing out of the crown’ (for the latter, see Rhodes 1994; Weller et al. 1997). At the extreme, some scholars have discussed the possibility of ‘governance without government’ (Rhodes 1996). These discussions also reﬂect waning public conﬁdence in the capacity of governments to govern eﬀectively and fairly (Putnam and Pharr 2000). Underlying these observations about the decline of the state are phenomena such as the loss of traditional national sovereignty to supranational polities like the European Union and non-governmental organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the easy permeability of borders in the European Union and the lack of centrality of national governments in functional governance networks where the state allegedly ﬁgures only as one among many actors (Sorensen and Torﬁng 2006). In addition, privatizations have aﬀected the shape of the state and its capacity to steer society. Similarly, retrenchment of the welfare state has resulted in increased private provision of social services in some countries, although at the same time, transfer payments for social subsidies and health care costs have increased dramatically (Castles 2004). The regulatory activities of the state have also changed. While it may be true that regulatory activities as one part of policy-making have, to a certain extent, moved upwards in multi-level governance systems, rule enforcement and monitoring as corresponding administrative activities have generally...