The Routledge Handbook to Accountability and Welfare State Reforms in Europe
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.