Why do governments create semi-autonomous public organizations, called 'agencies'? How do agency types and their prevalence differ across countries and time? How are agencies controlled and held accountable? How autonomous are they? How have (post)-New Public Management ideas affected agencification policies in Europe and beyond? How do governments attempt to restore transparency and coordination in a fragmented agency landscape? And what can ...
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Government Agencies: Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries

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Why do governments create semi-autonomous public organizations, called 'agencies'? How do agency types and their prevalence differ across countries and time? How are agencies controlled and held accountable? How autonomous are they? How have (post)-New Public Management ideas affected agencification policies in Europe and beyond? How do governments attempt to restore transparency and coordination in a fragmented agency landscape? And what can practitioners and policy makers learn from international experiences?

This volume describes and compare how semi-autonomous agencies are created and governed in 29 countries and the EU. It leads practitioners and researchers through the crowded world of agencies, describing the agency landscape, history and drivers, autonomy and control, as well as recent developments. It offers a rich empirical overview for researchers interested in comparing agencies in different countries, and for practitioners interested in agency practices and experiences. Evidence-based lessons and recommendations are formulated to improve agencification policies in post-NPM times. This is the first volume to cover all aspects of agencies and the phenomenon of agencification and will be an essential reference tool for policy makers and researchers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Applying a common data and analytic template to 30 countries, the contributors examine the historical origins and legal frameworks of agencies, their capacity to carry out assigned tasks, the political and administrative implications, and more. If the purpose of agencies has been to tear down the vast, vertically-integrated government bureaucracies that dominated public administration during most of the 20th century, most have failed; if their aim has been to improve public services, many have had modest - but not universal - success. With the publication of this book, administrative reformers can innovate with eyes wide open, and with greater comprehension of the difference agencies make in managing the public services."
- Allen Schick, Distinguished University Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, USA.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137007421
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Series: Public Sector Organizations
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

KOEN VERHOEST Associate Professor at the Public Management Institute, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He has published on organization and control in the public sector in Governance, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Public Management Review and Organization Studies. His books include Autonomy and Control of State Agencies and The Coordination of Public Sector Organizations.
SANDRA VAN THIEL Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has published on semi-autonomous organizations and their relationship with parent ministries, in the Netherlands as well as comparatively. Recent works include New Public Management in Europe: Adapation and Alternatives (together with Christopher Pollitt and Vincent Homburg) and articles in Public Management Review, Public Organization Review and Journal of Public Policy.
GEERT BOUCKAERT Professor and Director of the Public Management Institute at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He was previously President of the European Group for Public Administration. He publishes widely on performance management in the public sector.
PER LÆGREID Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. He has published extensively on public sector reform and institutional change from a comparative perspective. His recent books include Organization Theory and the Public Sector, Transcending New Public Management, and Governance of Public Sector Organizations. His latest publications include articles in Public Administration, Public Administration Review, and Governance.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; K.Verhoest & S.Van Thiel
Comparing Agencies across Countries; S.Van Thiel
Section 2.1 Agencification in Anglo-American countries
Australia; C.Aulich & R.Wettenhall 
Ireland; M.MacCarthaigh & R.Boyle
New Zealand; R.Gregory
United Kingdom; O.James, A.Moseley, N.Petrovsky & G.Boyne
United States; B.G.Peters
Comparing Agencification in Anglo-American Countries; J.Halligan & O.James
Section 2.2 Agencification in Latin Countries
Belgium; K.Verhoest, S.Demuzere & J.Rommel
France; F.Lafarge
Italy; E.Ongaro, D.Galli, D.Barbieri & P.Fedele
Spain; S.Parrado
Portugal; S.Mendes, P.Gomes & J.F.Araújo
Comparing Agencification in Latin Countries; S.Parrado, E.Ongaro & K.Verhoest
Section 2.3 Agencification in Continental Countries
Austria; G.Hammerschmid, A.Krischok & K.Steigenberger
Germany; T.Bach
Netherlands; K.Yesilkagit & S.Van Thiel
Switzerland; R.Steiner & E.Huber
Comparing Agencification in Continental Countries; T.Bach & E.Huber
Section 2.4 Agencification in Nordic Countries
Denmark; M.B.Hansen & V.N.Andersen
Finland; A.SalminenO.P.Viinamäki & J.Sokisuu
Norway; P.Lægreid, P.G.Roness & K.Rubecksen
Sweden; B.Niklasson
Comparing Agencification in Nordic Countries; M.B.Hansen, P.Lægreid, J.Pierre & A.Salminen
Section 2.5 Agencification in CEE Countries
Croatia; I.Kopric & A.Musa
Estonia; K.Sarapuu
Hungary; G.Hajnal
Lithuania; V.Nakrosis & Z.Martinaitis
Romania; C.Hintea, A.E.Hudrea & D.O.Balica
Slovakia; J.Nemec
Comparing Agencification in CEE Countries; T.Randma-Liiv, V.Nakrosis & G.Hajnal
Section 2.6 Agencification in Eastern and African Countries
Hong Kong; M.Painter
Israel; D.Levi-Faur & S.Livshitz
Tanzania; A.Sulle
Pakistan; M.Z.I.Jadoon, N.Jabeen & A.Rizwan
Thailand; B.Bowornwathana
Comparing Agencification in Eastern and African Countries; M.Painter
Section 2.7 Agencification at Supranational Level
EU-Level Agencies; E.Ongaro, D.Barbieri, N.Bellé & P.Fedele
Agencification in Europe and Beyond: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward; S.van Thiel, K.Verhoest, G.Bouckaert & P.Laegreid

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