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Foundations of public Administration

Foundations of public Administration




I.Th.M. Snellen

In the course of the last century fundamental changes occurred in the relationship between public administration and politics. This book describes in which ways and to what extent the public administration discipline aims to shape this fundamental relation by analyzing the paradigmatic foundations of the discipline. The various paradigms adopted by different groups in the public administration discipline at different points in time determine for a large part the nature of problems to be tackled and the solution procedures that may be considered. Therefore, a clear insight into the foundations underlying the relationship between public administration and politics not only facilitates the study of the public administration discipline and political science, but also contributes to a better understanding of the practice of public administration.

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Geert Wilders speaks out

Geert Wilders speaks out




Hans de Bruijn

Geert Wilders has dominated the political debate in the Netherlands for several years. His opponents from the centre seem unable to get a grip on him. In this essay, Hans de Bruijn analyses the way in which Wilders conducts the debate. He discusses the frames used by Wilders and shows how ingenious they are. Opponents who are tempted to step into Wilders frames are immediately at a disadvantage. If an opponent confronts you with a strong frame, you need a reframing strategy. This involves developing alternative frames that place your opponent at a disadvantage. This essay is not about who is right or wrong but about the political game of framing and reframing. The author presents several reframing exercises that may help readers to understand or participate in the current debate or encourage them to develop their own reframing strategies. Hans de Bruijn is Professor of Public Administration at the Delft University of Technology.

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Health reforms in Central and Eastern Europe

Health reforms in Central and Eastern Europe



Given dramatic changes in Central and Eastern Europe since the fall of Berlin Wall 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, local area experts were challenged to examine their national systems of health care as well as proposals to reform them. Each chapter provides contextual data and information on the empirical realities of a specific country at five-year intervals since 1990 as well as the organizational framework of its health care system. The book explores the historical thread of reforms attempted and their current state of implementation by addressing criteria for reforming national health systems such as costs, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and feasibility. The authors stress selected policy elements such as the roles of major actors, the shadow economy, cost containment, access, centralization and decentralization. While no blueprint is offered, intriguing patterns emerge across the cases plus observations about `next steps in the unfolding process of health reforms in the region.

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Innovative approaches to public governance for the urban age

Innovative approaches to public governance for the urban age



Already more than half of the world population is living in large cities. The World Bank has stated that the growth of (mega) cities is immense; some African cities are growing more than 10% in population annually. That is without a doubt the highest percentage ever recorded. What does this mean in terms of public service delivery? What consequences do these densities have for government? How do governments balance equity and equality in these cities? What are the investments needed to ensure a balanced community? How can planning and delivery on the scale of these cities or (mega) city regions cope with challenges and tensions between the realms of people, planet and profit? These questions were the central theme of the 14th International Winelands Conference of the School of Public Leadership of the University of Stellenbosch. The conference produced a great variety of papers and discussions which are bundled in this volume. It presents a comprehensive view of the relation between governance, urbanization and the complexity of the issues at stake.

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Planet Homeless

Planet Homeless




Nienke Fredrika Boesveldt

Nowadays, homelessness is predominantly a local responsibility. The policy challenges that local authorities face in dealing with this issue are complex or, according to some commentators, can even be described as “wicked”. Until recently, local authorities have had limited success in addressing homelessness for reasons including a lack of information and fragmentation of services, to name but two. In a new attempt to face up to these challenges, several northern European metropolises have published similar strategic approaches to ending homelessness. By studying their policy, structure and management style, this volume focuses on the impacts and outcomes of these new governance arrangements on the quality of service provision. By comparing and evaluating the different approaches in governance, the author provides deeper insight into exactly which elements of administrative and political approaches, or which governance arrangements, are most effective in this respect and how social results can be improved in general. In this way this study makes an important contribution to the academic debate on the optimum organization of governance arrangements. This volume also provides a critical perspective on current decentralising trends and contains a plea for a corporate, instrumental approach towards governance arrangements on homelessness. The author concludes that the social relief sector should be functioning as a trampoline, not as a last resort.

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The Netherlands as an EU member

The Netherlands as an EU member



Many of the preconceptions about the Netherlands in the EU are wrong. Over the past few years, Dutch and international media have signalled almost daily that, all of a sudden, the Netherlands has changed from a pro-European into an anti-European country. It is as if the Netherlands no longer wants to move backward or forward in the EU and as if politicians are only too happy to criticise the EU. What prevails is the paradoxical image of a small open country that has cooled towards Europe. The Netherlands as an EU Member: Awkward or Loyal Partner? looks beyond grand statements like `the Netherlands is for/against Europe and employs the sectoral thermometer: are we actually seeing the Netherlands withdraw at the very level where policy is pursued and where European agreements are made? Was the Netherlands really that pro-European in terms of policy implementation in the first place, and has that changed now? The chapters in this book show that the Netherlands has always been pragmatic in its approach to Europe. In the short-term perspective of the media and politicians, the Dutch unconditional support for a supranational body like the European Commission may have changed into a form of intergovernmental cooperation more dictated by self-interest, and instead of championing further integration the Netherlands may now be stalling or reversing European policy. However, the chapters underline that, in general, the Netherlands was not dogmatic at all but rather made choices based on largely objective considerations of use and necessity: sometimes more intergovernmental, while at others more supranational, sometimes more focused on regulation, on other occasions aimed at deregulation and coordination. Nor did the Netherlands suddenly change its views or became more critical of the EU in 2005. Reserve has always been part of the Dutch approach.

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Good, bad and next in public governance

Good, bad and next in public governance



This work presents the peer-reviewed and updated conference papers presented at the 13th Winelands Conference of the School for Public Leadership of the University of Stellenbosch. The publication is the result of an international orientation on the themes of good governance and corruption, now and in the coming years. While good and bad are opposites, the same goes for good governance and corruption. They do not go together in one organisation and good governance is the means to remedy the other. Corruption hollows out and destroys all forms of good governance at all levels of government. The only sustainable weapon against corruption is in the establishment of good governance and complementary management control within organisations. The conference focused on the issues of corruption, combating and preventing it and the future of good governance, especially in Southern Africa and (Western) Europe.

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