The Projectification of the Public Sector: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Projectification of the Public Sector

1st Edition

Edited by Damian Hodgson, Mats Fred, Simon Bailey, Patrik Hall


276 pages

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pub: 2019-03-18
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In recent decades, we have witnessed an increasing use of projects and similar temporary modes of organising in the public sector of nations in Europe and around the world. While for some this is a welcome development which unlocks entrepreneurial zeal and renders public services more flexible and accountable, others argue that this seeks to depoliticise policy initiatives, rendering them increasingly technocratic, and that the project organisations formed in this process offer fragmented and unsustainable short-term solutions to long-term problems.

This volume sets out to address public sector projectification by drawing together research from a range of academic fields to develop a critical and theoretically-informed understanding of the causes, nature, and consequences of the projectification of the public sector. This book includes 13 chapters and is organised into three parts. The first part centres on the politics of projectification, specifically the role of projects in de-politicisation, often accomplished by rendering the political “technical”. The chapters in the second part all relate to the reframing of the relationship between the centre and periphery, or between policy making and implementation, and the role of temporality in reshaping this relation. The third and final part brings a focus upon the tools, techniques, and agents through which public sector projectification is assembled, constructed, and performed.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface and Acknowledgements


  1. Policy Pilots as Public Sector Projects: The Projectification of Policy and Research
  2. Why is Innovation Policy Projectified? Political Causes in the Case of Sweden
  3. Problematising the Project System: Rural Development in Indonesia
  4. Public Sector Innovation Projects: Beyond Bureaucracy and Market?
  5. In and Out of Amber: the New Zealand Government Major Projects Performance Reporting
  6. Project Management in the Shadow of Public Human Services
  7. Pilots as Projects: Policy Making in a State of Exception
  8. Project Governance in an Embedded State: Opportunities and Challenges
  9. The European Dimension of Projectification. Implications of the Project Approach in EU Funding Policy
  10. Agents, Techniques, and Tools of Projectification
  11. Observing the Process of Culture Projectification and its Agents: A Case Study of Kraków
  12. Standardisation and Its Consequences in Health Care: A Case Study of PRINCE2 Project Management Training
  13. The Freelance Project Manager as an Agent of Governmentality: Evidence from a UK Local Authority

Notes on Contributors


About the Editors

Damian Hodgson is Professor of Organisational Analysis at Alliance Manchester Business School and Co-Director of the Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, University of Manchester, UK.

Mats Fred is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Global Political Studies, Malmo¨ University, Sweden.

Simon Bailey is a researcher at the University of Kent, UK. His interests are in the sociological study of medicine, organisation, learning, and policy.

Patrik Hall is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Global Political Studies, Malmö University, Sweden.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management

The study and practice of public management has undergone profound changes across the world. Over the last quarter century, we have seen

  • the increasing criticism of public administration as the over-arching framework for the provision of public services
  • the rise (and critical appraisal) of the ‘New Public Management’ as an emergent paradigm for the provision of public services
  • the transformation of the ‘public sector’ into the cross-sectoral provision of public services
  • the growth of the governance of inter-organizational relationships as an essential element in the provision of public services

In reality these trends have not so much replaced each other as elided or co-existed together – the public policy process has not gone away as a legitimate topic of study, intra-organizational management continues to be essential to the efficient provision of public services, whist the governance of inter-organizational and inter-sectoral relationships is now essential to the effective provision of these services.

This series is dedicated to presenting and critiquing this important body of theory and empirical study. It will publish books that both explore and evaluate the emergent and developing nature of public administration, management and governance (in theory and practice) and examine the relationship with and contribution to the over-arching disciplines of management and organizational sociology. Books in the series will be of interest to academics and researchers in this field, students undertaking advanced studies, and reflective policy makers and practitioners.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / Management & Leadership
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management