• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Deregulation, privatization, and marketization have become the bywords for the reforms and debates surrounding the public sector. This major book is unique in its comparative analysis of the reform experience across the globe, from Canada, the West, and Eastern Europe to Australia and New Zealand. Leading country experts identify a number of key factors to systematically explain the similarities and differences, map common problems, and together reflect on the future shape of the public sector. Significant themes and topics explored in this lively and accessible book include the often neglected conflict between the drive for efficiency and questions of justice, the new role of local government, the quest for decentralization and the enhancement of competitiveness, and the introduction of public joint stock companies. Public Sector Reform will be essential reading for all students and researchers of public policy, public administration, and comparative government.

Local Government in Britain after Thatcher
Local government in Britain after Thatcher

The reform drive in Britain aimed at local government has been one of the more extensive and active in Western democracies. The early years of the Conservative government elected in 1979 saw a concentration on attempts to hold back local government spending. In the mid 1980s this theme was joined by a commitment to changing the way public services were managed and run in order to ensure greater efficiency in the use of resources and a greater responsiveness to the users of services. A raft of legislation was introduced in Thatcher's administration which came into office after a general election in 1987. The Audit Commission, a government appointed spending ‘watch-dog’, wrote at the time: ...

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