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.
"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
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?
4. Combining Agency and Stewardship. Welfare Reforms and Accountability
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
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
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
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