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Public Governance Paradigms

Competing and Co-Existing

Jacob Torfing, Lotte Bøgh Andersen, Carsten Greve and Kurt K. Klausen

This enlightening book scrutinizes the shifting governance paradigms that inform public administration reforms. From the rise to supremacy of New Public Management to new the growing preference for alternatives, four world-renowned authors launch a powerful and systematic comparison of the competing and co-existing paradigms, explaining the core features of public bureaucracy and professional rule in the modern day.
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Chapter 5: Neo-Weberian State

Jacob Torfing, Lotte Bøgh Andersen, Carsten Greve and Kurt K. Klausen


This chapter presents the concept of the Neo-Weberian State, which is a concept that was first introduced by Pollitt and Bouckaert in their book on comparative public management reform. The Neo-Weberian State opens up for a return to more responsibility of the state and highlights the role played by civil servants in making reform work. At the same time, the Neo-Weberian State emphasizes the need for efficient and timely service to citizens. The Neo-Weberian State therefore does not totally dismiss performance management, but underlines that performance management should be carried out in a responsible manner. The chapter places the Neo-Weberian State in the public governance diamond and discusses if the Neo-Weberian State draws on too many sources for inspiration to become a fully coherent public governance paradigm, but the chapter also recognizes the concept’s focus on a return to the role of the state after years of fragmentation through another public governance paradigm, NPM.

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