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Steven van de Walle, Sandra Groeneveld and Lieselot Vandenbussche

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Stéphane Moyson, Steven van de Walle and Sandra Groeneveld

In Chapter 9 Moyson, Van de Walle and Groeneveld take a critical look at the views public officials have of citizens, in particular their level of trust toward citizens’ ability, integrity and benevolence, when engaging in administrative interactions. Public officials’ trust is essential in interactive governance, because it may stimulate the compliance and trust of citizens toward public administration. In turn, this may increase the effectiveness of public service delivery. Public officials’ trust builds over time when they have interactions with trustworthy citizens. Hence, trust between public officials and citizens is at the same time an essential requirement for interactive governance and an outcome of such interactions. Extensive research thus far has not yet revealed many individual factors of officials’ trust toward citizens or their perceptions of citizens’ trustworthiness. In addition, few studies have been conducted on the institutional and organizational factors of trust and trustworthiness. Moyson et al. discuss this research and subsequently suggest avenues for future studies.

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Sebastian Jilke, Joris van der Voet and Steven Van de Walle

The Dutch government has designed an impressive amount of reform packages in past decades. Recurring themes include the delegation of public service delivery, joined-up government and the implementation of cost-decreasing management practices. Reforms in the Dutch central civil service are typically implemented with system-wide reform programmes. Since 2000, the central civil service has continuously been subject to ambitious reform programmes, and managers evaluate these reforms as being relatively successful. According to Dutch public executives, major reform trends include a stronger focus on managerial outcomes and results, public sector downsizing and the collaboration between public sector actors – and in particular networked governance. The chapter also shows that Dutch public managers are heavy users of management tools and instruments, and place a very strong emphasis on performance.

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

Despite the salience of public administration reforms in Europe, there is surprisingly little systematic research identifying how and whether public sector reforms have been implemented, and with what outcomes. This introductory chapter introduces the topic of public administration reform, as well as the general approach and purpose of the book. With an aim of evaluating public administration reforms in different European countries, three reform paradigms are distinguished. The first has the implementation of Weberian-style structures and processes at its core; the second is the introduction of the New Public Management, and the third brings together elements of Weberianism with aspects of NPM. A secondary objective is to study convergence and divergence in European public administration reform through a comparison across a large set of European countries.

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

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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Dion Curry, Gerhard Hammerschmid, Sebastian Jilke and Steven Van de Walle

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Katy Huxley, Rhys Andrews, Gerhard Hammerschmid and Steven Van de Walle

This chapter explores public administration reform trends in Europe across 17 countries and 13 policy areas. The relationship between reforms, country and policy area were considered in relation to three public management paradigms (Public Administration (PA), New Public Management (NPM), and New Public Governance (NPG)), as well as four national administrative traditions (Napoleonic, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Organicist). The relationship between country, policy area and perceived public administration performance is also assessed. Country-based analysis indicated that transparency and open government, collaboration and a results focus were significant trends across Europe, reflecting the dispersion of NPG, whilst NPM reforms, such as privatization were less significant. Overall, the analysis presented in the chapter suggests convergence in reform trends, though Napoleonic countries were likely to rate reforms as less important and perceive performance to be lower. Variation by policy area was minimal.

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

This chapter discusses the lessons that can be drawn from the findings presented in the book and outlines a future research agenda for European comparative public administration. The evidence on the salience of different reform paradigms in European central governments is summarised, along with the broad patterns of convergence and divergence in reform trends across Europe. Suggestions for more detailed analyses that can build on the research presented in the book are then made. The main lessons from the book are that: (a) between 2008 and 2013 most public management reforms were of a neo-Weberian/New Public Governance (NPG) type focused on transparency, collaboration and e-government; (b) important cross-country variations in the interpretation and implementation of public management reforms still persist; and, (c) future research should focus more closely on the influence of administrative and political cultures on the causes and consequences of management reforms.

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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.