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Issue № 74. June 2019

Theoretical Exploration of Administrative Reforms Impact in Europe: COCOPS (Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future) Project Results Review

Gennady L. Kupryashin

DSc (Political Sciences), Professor, School of Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

The article presents the review of the COCOPS project (Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future), which has looked at the effects of administrative reforms in European countries. The general purpose of COCOPS has been to assess the impact of NPM-style (new public management) reforms in European countries, especially as they relate to cohesion, and to explore emerging reform approaches. Observers have pointed to some of the unintended, and often negative, effects of NPM reforms, such as an increasing fragmentation of public administrations, coordination challenges, an erosion of social cohesion, and a weakened public service ethos within government. In response, alternative reform approaches linked to the ideas of network and public governance and focusing on improved internal coordination and cohesion has appeared.

The COCOPS has given observers the opportunity to assess the relative salience of the three reform paradigms: Weberian, New Public Management, and New Public Governance/Neo-Weberian. COCOPS shows how three major paradigms based on hierarchies, networks and markets lack the capacity to reflect the precise empirical realities of national administrative reforms. The author concludes that currently there are no governance administrative paradigms able to respond to the contemporary challenges posed by globalization, decentralization, managerialization and informatization.


Public administration, civil service, administration reform, New Public Management, Neo-Weberian reform paradigm, Public Governance reform paradigm.

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