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AuthorTorenvlied, Renรฉ. author
TitlePolitical Decisions and Agency Performance [electronic resource] / by Renรฉ Torenvlied
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands : Imprint: Springer, 2000
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Descript XVII, 292 p. online resource


All over the world, many people who live in urban areas find themselves in an arduous social situation. In the third world, people in overcrowded metropolitan areas have a problem in maintaining even the slightest standards of living. But also richer parts of the world, the United States, Europe and the far-East, show growing social inequalities in their cities. And social problems are not confined to the large metropolitan areas: impoverishment, long-term unemployment, social isolation, and the dependency on welfare programs pops up in medium-sized cities and even in smaller communities. At the same time, these cities are confronted with a growing bureaucratic conglomerate which is increasingly inapt to fight social degeneration. The catastrophe seems to be total: how to deal at once with declining social conditions and bureaucratic inadequacy? Two American authors, Osborne and Plastrik (1997), claim to have found the answer: just banish bureaucracy. The liberating accomplishments of the free market will elevate ordinary citizens and force lazy, incompetent bureaucrats to do their work properly. If they succeed, they survive. Otherwise, these agencies will vanish. They illustrate their arguments with the American city of 'Uphill Battle' which stopped its decline by reinventing government. Strict performance measures, allotting financial controls and incentives to the citizens, and improving accountability have saved the city. We should, however, be very careful in taking such measures so far that they banish bureaucracy. It is far from obvious that simply banishing bureaucracy indeed will help people in poor social situations


1. the Paradox of Compliance -- 1.1. A Paradoxical Finding -- 1.2. Policy Analysis by โ{128}{156}Modeling Throughโ{128}{157} -- 1.3. Research Object: Social Renewal -- 1.4. Plan of the Book -- 2. Implementers Constrained? -- 2.1. Neo-Classical Models of the Bureaucracy -- 2.2. Substantial Preferences of Agencies -- 2.3. Neo-Institutional Models of the Bureaucracy -- 2.4. Political Conflict Models -- 3. Overarching Model of Policy Implementation -- 3.1. Introduction -- 3.2. The Basis of the Model: Policy Issues -- 3.3. Collective Decisions and Individual Preferences -- 3.4. Foundations of a Simple Model of Implementation -- 3.5. Model Elaboration: Effects of Political Conflict -- 3.6. Variations in Political Opportunism and Control -- 3.7. Model Comparison and Testing -- 4. Testing Simple Models in Complex Settings -- 4.1. Introduction -- 4.2. Research Design -- 4.3. Selection: Justification and Procedure -- 4.4. Research Using Key Informants -- 4.5. Operationalization and Measurement of the Variables -- 5. Social Renewal: Interests and Implementation -- 5.1. Social Renewal in Three Local Authorities -- 5.2. Social Renewal in Weststellingwerf -- 5.3. Restructuring Social-Cultural Work in Groningen -- 5.4. Neighborhood Oriented Work in Arnhem -- 5.5. Conclusion -- 6. Towards an Integrated Prediction Model -- 6.1. Introduction -- 6.2. Testing the Mixed Model -- 6.3. Testing the Models with Political Conflict -- 6.4. An Integrated Prognostic Model -- 6.5. Conclusion -- 7. Where Politics Makes Sense -- 7.1. Nothing is Sacred -- 7.2. Room for Maneuver or Political Control -- 7.3. Deviating by Consent? -- 7.4. Predicting Policy Performances -- 7.5. Donโ{128}{153}t Bash Bureaucracy -- Appendices -- Appendix 1. Mathematical Appendix -- 1. Derivation of the simple implementation model -- 2. Mathematical representation of the tolerance interval -- 3. Glossary of notations and terms -- Appendix 2. Overview of Selected Policy Issues -- Appendix 3. Actors Involved and Characteristics -- Appendix 4. Overview of Selected Policy Performances -- Appendix 5. Policy Documents and Dutch Reports -- References

Political science Economic policy Sociology Political Science and International Relations Political Science Economic Policy Sociology general


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