1st Edition

Europe Managing the Crisis The politics of fiscal consolidation

By Walter Kickert, Tiina Randma-Liiv Copyright 2015
    308 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Studies of the recent financial crisis have been largely dominated by economists, but the similarities and differences between European countries' response reflect both economic and political perspectives which have resulted in considerable differences in their decisions.

    Drawing on uniquely comprehensive research data, this book presents an in-depth comparative analysis of how 14 European governments tackled the challenge of fiscal consolidation, and analyses the political decision-making behind these measures. By exploring national responses not just in fiscal terms, but also from a political perspective, it reveals that decision making has been driven by political factors with profound effects on public administration and management.

    This ground-breaking book fills an important gap in the research literature for scholars of public management, public administration and policy, and will be a benchmark for future work on the global economic crisis.

    Part I: Introduction 1. Introduction 2. Fiscal Crisis and Consolidation 3. Analytical Framework Part II: Fiscal Consolidation 4. Fiscal Consolidation: Contents of Measures 5. Fiscal Consolidation: Decision Making  Part III: Causes and Effects of Fiscal Consolidation 6. Explanations of Fiscal Consolidation 7. Effects of Fiscal Consolidation Part IV: Conclusions and Discussion 8. Conclusions and Discussion Appendix: Country Summaries of Economic, Fiscal and Political Data


    Walter Kickert is Professor of public management at Erasmus University Rotterdam and has since 2006 been the scientific director of the Netherlands Institute of Government, the national inter-university research school of administrative and political sciences. He has carried out international comparative research of public management and administrative reform in European countries from 2006 until 2011 and he was deputy-editor of the international journal Public Administration.

    Tiina Randma-Liiv is Professor and Chair of Public Management and Public Policy at Tallinn University of Technology, and Fulbright Professor at Florida International University in 2014-2015. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA) and is one of the leading scholars on public-management reforms in Central and Eastern Europe, and small-state research as well as on the impact of the Global Crisis on public administration.

    'The strength of the book is in the transparent analytical framework and the full coverage of aspects: cuts, expenditures, revenues, investments. The focus on decision making (or non-decision making) turns the book in a supremely useful embedded case for teaching in leadership, decision making, political economy, governance and administration. For this reason, the book becomes relevant for political science, economists, public administration, management, and even lawyers. Finally, the book is crucial since it is not just analyzing and discussing process but also effects. For all these reasons, this book will become a standard volume in crisis governance.' - Geert Bouckaert, President of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences

    'Drawing on a wealth of original research, comparing the response of a range of countries to the Economic crisis, this book delivers valuable insight into the issues raised by the recent near collapse of much of the world’s economy. The strength of the book is that it places political considerations, decisions and institutions in their rightful place - at the center of its analysis.' - Andrew Massey, Professor, University of Exeter, UK and Editor of International Review of Administrative Sciences and Public Money and Management.

    'This is a much-needed book. Kickert and Randma-Liiv tackle the crucial issue of understanding the responses adopted by national governments across Europe to the financial, economic and fiscal crises. They map decision-making patterns and delve into the explanations and the effects of them, by bringing political and administrative factors to the foreground. Decision-makers and scholars alike will much benefit from this major study.' - Edoardo Ongaro, Professor, Northumbria University, UK and President of the European Group for Public Administration.

    'The global financial crisis has been the subject of an immense amount of scholarly and popular attention. This book is one of the very best treatments available on the reactions of European governments to the crisis and the effects of their policy choices. Kickert and Randma-Liiv combine generalizations about government actions with insightful examinations of the policy choices of individual countries.' - B. Guy Peters, Professor, University of Pittsburgh, USA and President of the International Public Policy