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State Reform in France: From Public Service to Public Management?

Cole, Alistair Mark 2010. State Reform in France: From Public Service to Public Management? Perspectives on European Politics and Society 11 (4) , pp. 343-357. 10.1080/15705854.2010.524405

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The ‘Reform of the State’ is one of the recurrent themes in French politics, but it is deeply ambivalent. Understanding the causes or independent variables of state reform cannot be dissociated from understanding the core narratives that are used to justify the reform process. In this article we observe processes of state reform since the late 1980s through the lens of two rather different forms of justification that are labelled as public service and state productivity. Though there are some similarities between the two, they represent distinct ways of understanding the nature and scope of the State and the weighting of endogenous and exogenous forces driving the reform process itself. While state reform is a by-product of the public services narrative, it occupies a central role in that of state productivity. Crucially, for the purposes of this article, they take a different stance towards new public management, which is firmly resisted in the public services narrative as foreign to French political and administrative traditions, but forms a central theme in accounts of state productivity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public service, state reform, new public management, Sarkozy, France
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1570-5854
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 01:54

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