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 9: New wine in new bottles? Assessing Hungary’s post-2010 public administration reforms

György Hajnal


The changes to the machinery of Hungary’s government having taken place since the landslide election victory of Orbán’s centre-right party formation at the 2010 parliamentary elections are indeed fundamental. The ‘strong state’ vision underlying the reform strife of the years since 2010 has manifested itself in a lengthy series of sweeping institutional and policy reforms, as well as in a series of domestic and international conflicts. Attention so far has been focused on the radically changing institutional landscape, the constitutional reforms and their potentially adverse effects on such fundamental features of polity as the functioning of checks and balances, individual rights, democracy, rule of law and social inclusion. The major ambition and contribution of this paper is to move beyond this institutional level of analysis and to examine whether – and if yes, to what extent and in what sense – this transformative vision of unorthodoxy has reached the day-to-day making and management of policies within public administration.

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