1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook to Accountability and Welfare State Reforms in Europe

Edited By Tom Christensen, Per Lægreid Copyright 2017
    310 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    There is growing concern that welfare states are inefficient, unsustainable and lack popular support. New Public Management reforms affected the balance between managerial and political accountability and disrupted administrative, legal, professional and social accountability, causing confusion as to whom public organizations are really accountable.

    The Routledge Handbook to Accountability and Welfare State Reforms in Europe assesses multi-dimensional accountability relations in depth, addressing the dynamic between accountability and reforms. Analyzing how welfare state reforms oriented towards agencification, managerialism and marketization affected existing relationships in services traditionally provided by public institutions, the theoretically informed, empirical chapters provide specific examples of their effect on accountability. Expert contributors explore the relationship between accountability and performance and the impact of reforms on political, administrative, managerial, legal, professional and social accountability. The role of specific actors, such as the media and citizens, on the accountability process addressing issues of blame avoidance, reputation and autonomous agencies is discussed.

    Comparative chapters across time, countries, administrative levels and policy areas are included, along with discussions linking accountability with concepts like legitimacy, democracy, coordination and performance. This handbook will be an essential reference tool to those studying European politics and public policy.

    1. Introduction

    Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid

    Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Issues

    2. Democratic Order, Autonomy and Accountability

    Johan P. Olsen

    3. Accountability, Performance and Legitimacy in the Welfare State - If Accountability is the Answer, What was the Question?

    Werner Jann

    4. Combining Agency and Stewardship. Welfare Reforms and Accountability

    Thomas Schillemans

    Part II: Accountability in Welfare State Areas

    5. Hybrid Welfare Administrative Systems and Changing Accountability Relations – Comparing the Development of the Danish and Norwegian Systems

    Tom Christensen, Fleming Larsen and Karsten Vrangbæk

    6. Public Sector Reform and Accountability Dynamics: The Changing Welfare Administration in Norway and Germany

    Bastian Jantz

    7. The welfare state in flux: Individual responsibility and changing accountability relations in social services

    Pieter Tõnurist and Wouter de Tavernier

    8. Dimensions of Accountability in Health Care

    Haldor Byrkjeflot and Karsten Vrangbæk

    9. Accountability through performance management? Hospital performance management schemes in Denmark, Germany and England

    Tanja Klenk, Karsten Vrangbæk, John Appelby and Sarah Gregory

    10. Accountability, Legitimacy and Immigration Control: The Inclusion of Social Actors in Asylum Regulation in Norway, Denmark and Germany

    Tord Lindén, Ina Radtke and Karsten Vrangbæk

    11. Welfare Reforms, Accountability and Performance

    Per Lægreid and Kristin Rubecksen

    Part III: Accountability in Unsettled Situations

    12. Accountability, Transparency and Societal Security

    Tom Christensen and Martin Lodge

    13. Accountability under Inquiry: Inquiry Committees after Internal Security Crises

    Julia Fleischer

    14. Accountability Relations in Unsettled Situations: Administrative Reforms and Crises

    Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid

    15. Accountability in Times of Austerity: Democratic and Constitutional Gains but Learning Loss?

    Hanne Foss Hansen and Mads Kristiansen

    16. Regulatory Reform, Accountability and Blame in Public Service Delivery: The Public Transport Crisis in Berlin

    Tobias Bach and Kai Wegrich

    Part IV: Accountability, Administrative Reforms and Multi-level Governance

    17. Principles meet Practicalities: Challenges of Accountability Reform in the British Civil Service

    Thomas Elston

    18. Multiple Accountabilities in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs): How to Unravel the Accountability Paradox?

    Tom Willems and Wouter van Dooren

    19. Digital Era Governance Reform and Accountability – The Case of Denmark

    Niels Ejersro and Carsten Greve

    20. The Dynamics of the EU Accountability Landscape: Moving to an Ever Denser Union

    Anchrit Wille


    Tom Christensen is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Per Lӕgreid is a Professor in the Department of Administration and Organization Theory at the University of Bergen, Norway.

    "This book not only provides the most up-to-date map of tensions between logics of consequences and appropriateness of contemporary welfare states. It also discusses ways to cope with its paradoxes, contradictions and trade-offs. This publication is a perfect GPS for all those that navigate within and between responsibility and accountability of our welfare states." - Geert Bouckaert, President of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, and Professor at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, Belgium

    "The Welfare State has been central in legitimating contemporary governments, and accountability has been, and remains, a fundamental democratic concern. But both of these factors in contemporary political life continue to evolve. This handbook examines the intersection of these two factors, and the manner in which they continue to evolve. This is important reading for any student of contemporary governance." - B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, USA

    "We live in an age of administrative and policy reforms. But we often do not understand their effects very well. This outstanding set of essays by leading scholars in the field delves deeply into the complex world of welfare state policy reforms and changing accountability mechanisms. Anyone interested in these topics will find this collection an invaluable, indeed an essential, source of insights and ideas." - Joel D. Aberbach, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

    "A very rich volume that combines a sophisticated approach of accountability with detailed analyses of welfare state reform. It brings together Europe's best scholars on accountability and welfare state reform and provides a concise analysis of contemporary welfare state reform and its effects on accountability relations." - Mark Bovens, Utrecht University, the Netherlands