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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 9: Comparing governance paradigms

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

Extract

This chapter compares the seven paradigms by using the public governance paradigm, discusses the relative positioning of the paradigms on the axes of the diamond and the distinct profile of the paradigms that appear as they are seen in an historical and developmental perspective. By applying the metaphor of the pendulum it indicates the succession of the paradigms as being antagonistic corrections to each other. Both political, functional and institutional explanations may serve to account for their historical appearance and for the dynamics of conflict and harmony in the evolution and coexistence of the paradigms. To a large extent the seven paradigms can be seen as competing for legitimacy in modernization programmes, but also as corrections in the evolution of public organization and management. A particular interest is paid to the discussion of the more or less explicit assumptions that each paradigm hold about human behaviour and from which central parts of the paradigms may be derived.

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