Public Administration Reforms in Europe
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Public Administration Reforms in Europe

The View from the Top

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.
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Chapter 7: Administrative reforms in the Netherlands: managerialism, collaboration and implications for future reform capacity

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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