The View from the Top
Edited by Gerhard Hammerschmid, Steven Van de Walle, Rhys Andrews and Philippe Bezes
Chapter 5: From smooth NPMization to structural changes in France: accelerated reforms, mixed perceptions
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.
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