The Impact of Public Service Values on Services of General Interest Reform Debates

Public Management Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 183-205, 2006

41 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2009

See all articles by Steven Van de Walle

Steven Van de Walle

KU Leuven - Department of Political Science; Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Public Administration

Date Written: February 14, 2006

Abstract

Competing values complicate debates on the reform of public services. Attention for competition and efficiency is balanced by concerns for equity and universality in service delivery. These potential value conflicts are best visible in the reform of services of general interest. Despite debates at the European and the national level, current research on services of general interest has been limited to scholars in law and economics. Citizens' opinion on the guiding principles of service delivery is generally disregarded. In this article, we analyze a number of Eurobarometer surveys dealing with services of general interest, as well as a general survey of citizens' perceptions of the public sector in Belgium. We delineate clusters of citizens' public service delivery value orientations, and show that one-sided or ideology-based reform strategies probably negate many of the continuing dilemmas in public service delivery.

Keywords: services of general interest, perceptions of public services, citizen-government relations, public sector values

JEL Classification: H41, D73

Suggested Citation

Van de Walle, Steven, The Impact of Public Service Values on Services of General Interest Reform Debates (February 14, 2006). Public Management Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 183-205, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1343090

Steven Van de Walle (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Department of Political Science ( email )

Public Management Institute
Van Evenstraat 2A
B-3000 Leuven
Belgium
+32 16 323614 (Phone)
+32 16 323611 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.publicmanagementinstitute.be

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Public Administration ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
0031 10 408 2518 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stevenvandewalle.eu

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