Based on the COCOPS Top Executive Survey on the contents and effects of administrative reforms, the chapter on France emphasizes the specificities of the French reform during the Sarkozy mandate (2007_2012). The impact of austerity through downsizing measures in the civil service as well as a policy of organizational merging are emphasized while, by contrast, reforms emphasizing transparency or citizen participation attract little attention. In comparative perspective, France has one of the weakest ‘equipment rates’ in managerial tools in Europe, with the exception of Spain, and together with two other Continental countries, Germany or Austria. Compared to other European countries, French top public officials are more critical about changes in the public sector and perceive signals of deterioration in the civil service based on a decline of staff motivation and attractiveness but also on negative perceived effects of reform on social cohesion or citizen participation.
Philippe Bezes and Gilles Jeannot
Gilles Jeannot and Philippe Bezes
Based on the COCOPS Top Executive Survey on the contents and effects of administrative reforms, this comparative chapter offers a picture of the variations in the spread and perceived use of public management tools in 17 European countries. Focusing on management tools offers valuable insights to capture changes in management practices. The chapter first identifies the dominance of three instruments throughout European bureaucracies: management by objectives, strategic planning and performance appraisal. It offers an exploration of organisational variations in the use of management tools, showing that agencies are equipped with more management tools than central ministries, regardless of the tools considered but also that employment and welfare are the two policy sectors with the higher prevalence of management tools. At last, the chapter emphasizes evidence of the varieties of NPMisation between four clusters of countries: highly NPM-ised like the UK, the Netherlands or some Scandinavian countries; Continental; Southern Europe and post-communist countries.