Modernizing the public sector: The Scandinavian way

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk


Looking at the Swedish public sector from a Scandinavian perspective, this chapter argues for a challenged but resilient (although not uniform) Scandi- navian public sector. Sweden is a nation with a long tradition of decentral- ized decision-making, semi-autonomous government agencies and independent local governments. This is considered a receptive context for continuous and incremental modernization. It has fostered a high degree of experimentation in terms of modes of production and distribution, albeit without the risks associated with purely market-driven social reforms based on privatization of both production and financing. The variations on the Swedish modernization theme are many, involving various forms of mar- ketization initiatives, boundary-spanning cooperative efforts and an open attitude and willingness towards trying and sharing experiences. High levels of transparency and trust are two initial traits signifying the Scandinavian public sector, which have been both amplified and challenged by the NPM agenda. The inherent strive of NPM for compartmentalization, quantifica- tion and performance measurement challenges some of the institutional glue of the welfare state, which has kept the parts together in a solid unity. Simultaneously, many NPM reforms – with their emphasis on performance measurement and reporting for increasing transparency and improving the outcomes of public polices and services – contribute both to sustained trust and welfare. The chapter concludes that Sweden keeps defending the Scan- dinavian model and values of universalism, solidarity and market independ- ence, a defence in which developments in society and future public management reforms may prove wanting.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Oslo and Akershus University College

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Studier av offentlig förvaltning
Titel på värdpublikationModernizing the public sector
Undertitel på gästpublikationScandinavian perspectives
RedaktörerHans Knutsson, Irvine Lapsley
UtgivningsortAbingdon/New York
Antal sidor14
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-1-315-56032-8
ISBN (tryckt)978-1-138-67594-0
StatusPublished - 2017
Peer review utfördJa


NamnCritical Studies in Public Managment

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Hans Knutsson (red.) & Lapsley, I. (red.), 2016 dec 3, London: Routledge. 262 s. (Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management)

Forskningsoutput: Bok/rapportAntologi (redaktör)

Visa alla (1)