Dismantling and Rebuilding the Weberian State

B. Guy Peters

in Governing Europe

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250158
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599439 | DOI:
 Dismantling and Rebuilding the Weberian State

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The title of this chapter reflects an important question about the contemporary development of public administration and its role within the contemporary state. It is clear that the public sectors in most contemporary European countries have been through some process of administrative reform, and that the traditional public bureaucratic (Weberian) sector has been, to a great extent, dismantled. The character of the emergent system for governing is not always clear, but the question posed by the reforms that have taken place is whether that earlier version of government can, or should, in any way be recaptured. The implicit and explicit argument is that a good deal of value has been lost through these changes in the style of governing, but that it may well be impossible (and undesirable) to rebuild anything approximating the older version of the state and the public bureaucracy. The different sections of the chapter look at the Weberian state (and other forms of bureaucratic government), critiques of the Weberian model, the dismantling administrative reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, and the issue of putting back together the Weberian state.

Keywords: administrative reform; bureaucracy; bureaucratic government; dismantling the Weberian state; Europe; public administration; public bureaucracy; public sector; Weberian state

Chapter.  7329 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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