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The new public management ‘revolution’ in political control of the public sector: promises and outcomes in three European prison systems

Boin, Arjen, James, Oliver and Lodge, Martin (2006) The new public management ‘revolution’ in political control of the public sector: promises and outcomes in three European prison systems. Public Policy and Administration, 21 (2). pp. 81-100. ISSN 0952-0767

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Abstract

The ‘new public management’ (NPM) promised a revolution in the way executive politicians control public services. This article looks at the effects of NPM forns on political control, especially ‘arms-length’ executive agencies, contracting with private firms and performance measurement in the prisons domain. These reforms promised politicians strategic control and disengagement from day to day issues, and a harnessing of competitive forces to break up traditional, unresponsive, public sector monopoly provision. We compare three jurisdictions that are conventionally seen as having embraced NPM to differing degrees: England & Wales (a relatively high NPM reformer where a package of measures was introduced), the Netherlands (an intermediate case) and Germany (where much variety is evident within an, overall, relatively low NPM reformer). The ‘promises’ of NPM control were in many aspects not fulfilled and the prison systems that made less use of such structures did not seem obviously to have suffered as a result. Indeed, some of the consequences, especially the detachment of executive politicians from day to day management, may have weakened the legitimacy of control systems, potentially making executive politicians’ task even more difficult.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://ppa.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2006 SAGE Publications
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > Government
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 20 May 2009 15:22
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24063/

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