Expanding the City by Giving it Up: Ex Ante Assessment of Reform in Public Administration
Industry and Region Studies
Frans-Bauke Van der Meer
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)
The idea that policy and public administration can be viewed as a horizontal and polycentric process (if not a series of interlocked processes) has only a short history, and there has been little time to derive and test implications for policy development and steering. Work in this field pertains largely to ‘network management’ and related approaches, mainly focusing on relational aspects of administrative processes. This emphasis relates to the interaction level that is now regarded most suitable for the analysis of policy processes. Not individual actors, the problems they face, or the policies they pursue, but the relational patterns to which they belong are the core of analysis. Prescriptions are made about how policy actors should interact, rather than how they should act.
In this paper we do not seek some kind of compromise between adequate description of policy interaction and workable guidelines for action. Rather, we will argue that social simulation, used as an instrument for ex ante assessment of processes in public administration, may offer guidance – relevant, comprehensible, and doable – for actors involved in policy development and implementation, without trivializing or distorting the theoretical picture of policy as a horizontal, polycentric process involving different groups of actors.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Simulation, Gaming, Administrative reform, Metropolitan Administration
JEL Classification: B49, C92, D74, D78, D83, H11, L32, R59working papers series
Date posted: March 29, 2010
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