Trajectories of Administrative Change in Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Spain
Christopher Pollitt I can truthfully say that this book is one I have been waiting for for more than a decade, and I am therefore delighted that it has finally arrived. It was in the late 1990s, when I was working with my colleague Geert Bouckaert on the first (2000) edition of Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis, that I realized that we had very little (at least in English) on Southern Europe. Neither did we have the time, skills or resources necessary to fill that huge gap. For one thing, we had decided not to try to cover countries where neither of us had even a passive knowledge of the language – the dangers of relying on selective translations was just too great. In the second edition of that book, thanks to the generous help of Edoardo Ongaro and Elio Borgonovi, we were able to cover Italy, but that, we knew, was only a beginning. Now, however, the job is done – anglophone readers at last have a detailed, sophisticated, up-to-date treatment not only of France (which has frequently been covered) but also of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Yet the value of this work goes far beyond just the provision of information about what was previously largely terra incognita on anglophone management maps (useful accomplishment though that is in itself). To my mind it has several major additional virtues. First, it is a theoretically challenging work, engaging not just with the NPM but with other traditions, as well as with...