'Joined Up' Local Governments? Restructuring and Reorganizing internal Management

Hilde Bjørnå, Donatella Casale, Gyorgy Hajnal, Miklos Rosta, Geraldine Robbins, Renate Meyer, Stephan Leixnering, Christian Schwab, Thomas Danken, Tobias Polzer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


eforms inspired by NPM have raised many challenges to governments, such as time lags between implementation and (any) results, fragmentation due to unbundling monolithic organizations and mediocre support from public sector stakeholders (Christensen/Lægreid 2007, Dunleavy et al. 2006, Hood/Dixon 2015). In addition, singular events like the current financial crisis (Peters 2011) shed a new light on previous reforms.
Today we find that 'Joined-up government' (JUG) modernization programs (as one strand of Post-NPM) are increasingly implemented as a reaction to the dysfunctionalities of NPM measures (6 2004). JUG involves an emphasis on coordinating governmental activities, for example through partnerships and horizontal governing approaches, to eliminate contradictions between different policies, and to deliver integrated and seamless services from a citizen’s perspective (Lægreid et al. forthc. 2015, Lægreid et al. 2014, Pollitt 2003).
A growing body of research analyses JUG initiatives in several countries, but often in the form of single-case studies with central government focus (see e.g. Talbot 2011 or Lægreid et al. 2014). On municipal level, however, there is only a scarce number of such studies and comparative studies are lacking. With this, we ask how can local JUG initiatives be explained and what lessons can be drawn from a comparative perspective?
Drawing on some components from the framework by Pollitt and Bouckaert (2011) for public management reforms, we analyse JUG reforms in six countries from different administrative traditions (Norway, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Germany and Austria).
First results suggest that in the same way as NPM has claimed to be an “umbrella term for a collection of trends” (Van de Walle/Hammerschmid 2011: 191), also JUG reforms take multiple nuances and foci, for example one-stop-shops, often combined with e-government solutions (Norway, Italy, Hungary and Germany), public sector recentralisation and de-agencification (Ireland) or refined strategies for steering the ‘landscape of corporatized organizations‘ (Hungary and Austria).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 20th Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2016 - City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 13 Apr 201615 Apr 2016
Conference number: 20


ConferenceThe 20th Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2016
LocationCity University of Hong Kong
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address

Cite this