Politics and Ethics
Chapter 5: The Regulatory State: How Democratic Is It?
5. 5.1 The regulatory state: how democratic is it? ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM Administrative reform programmes of the regulatory state have received such epithets as ‘festivals of visions’ and ‘marketing devices’. There have often been complaints of ‘reform euphoria’ that offer opportunities for grand announcements which are then followed by less than glorious implementations. Most administrative reforms do disappoint. They start off with much fanfare and promise so much (too much, of course) that they are bound to disappoint when the realities set in (Hayward and Menon 2003: 137). But what is public-administrative reform? We can, of course, answer that question in a number of different ways. We could tentatively say that reform of public administration in general comprises functional or deliberate changes to the structures, processes and regulations of publicsector organizations with the objective of improving (in some sense) their efficiency (Pollitt and Bouckaert 2004: 8). But this does not always occur, and we can refer to Michael Moran’s (2003) thesis for why. The innovative administrative changes have been a ‘fiasco’ over the last 30 years because of exponential growth in the number of changes, an era of ‘hyper-innovation’ and frenetic adopting of new institutional modes. 5.2 THE ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM OF SUBSIDIARITY We can recognize the principle of subsidiarity in the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, or the ‘Reform Treaty’ (which should not be confused with the Lisbon Process of 2000), which member states had signed and intended to ratify in 2008.1 The Reform Treaty pursues the statement of this principle...
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