New Steering Instruments: Trends in Public Sector Practice and Scholarship
Steven Van de Walle
Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Public Administration
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)
November 11, 2011
NEW STEERING CONCEPTS IN PUBLIC MANAGEMENT, pp. 205-214, S. Groeneveld, S. Van de Walle, eds., Bingley, Emerald, 2011
The chapters in this book on new steering instruments in pubic management have all in some way focused on new steering instruments in the public sector, or on how governments, often in collaboration with other actors, attempt to achieve integrated results and broad social outcomes. The trend away from the traditional and NPM-style prescriptions, the latter of which often resulted in a certain degree of fragmentation and a loss of steering capacity (Terry, 2005), is visible in a wide range of areas, both on the delivery level, and on the more strategic level. This has put the need to coordinate the public sector and to find new ways of steering firmly on the agenda (Bouckaert et al., 2010; Braun, 2008).
The chapters have highlighted the wide diversity in practices and terminology used in the field (see especially the contribution by Christensen and Lægreid). They have touched upon now familiar concepts and developments such as joined up government, integrated governance, network governance, public value and whole of government. The variety in practical and theoretical developments shows in the terminology - which is to a large extent nation-specific. Similar trends are labelled joined up governance and modernisation in the UK (Davies, 2009a; Newman, 2002), integrated governance in Australia, collaborative public management in the US, new public governance in Canada etc. (Halligan, 2007). Still other concepts emphasising outcomes or public value are used in other contexts. At the level of specific public sector innovations, we also see a wide range of mechanisms and tools that aim to integrate various policy fields in order to achieve better outcomes. The use of interdepartmental committees, task forces, cross-agency public service agreements, central strategic units, cross-departmental units for implementation, cross-departmental budgets, cross-cutting reviews, special purpose agencies and project ministries all demonstrate developments that are quite different from the NPM-style prescription of disaggregation. Often studied as distinct developments, this book has brought together a set of academic contributions exploring aspects of the evolution towards new forms of steering in public management.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: public management, governance, joined-up governance, collaborative arrangements, post-NPM
JEL Classification: D73Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 12, 2011
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