Reference : La Réforme du Système Administratif Portugais: New Public Management ou Etat néowébèrien?
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : European & international law
Law / European Law
La Réforme du Système Administratif Portugais: New Public Management ou Etat néowébèrien?
Mendes, Joana mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Law Research Unit >]
Revue Française d'Administration Publique
Ecole Nationale d'Administration
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] Portuguese public administration ; new public management ; managerialism ; public administration reform
[en] The recent process of reform undergone by the Portuguese public administration, begun in 2004 under the Social Democrats and continued in 2006 under the Socialists, introduced aspects of managerialism. However, the concept of the neo-Weberian state developed by Pollitt and Bouckaert more adequately describes the features of the Portuguese administration as shaped by this reform, which is situated in a context of financial pressure resulting from the need to comply with the requirements of the Growth and Stability Pact and European monetary integration—although some of its measures can only be fully understood in the framework of Portuguese public administration, since they are directed at tackling specific dysfunctions that resulted from changes over three preceding decades. Some of the problems that the current reform of the public administration sought to alleviate persist and are briefly noted. An account of the measures adopted, the influence of managerialism (and of contractualism, less influential in this reform), and the Weberian traits that persist are presented, demonstrating that the reforms of 2004–2006 have not inscribed characteristics that could be fully captured by the concept of new public management (NPM). The author underlines the bias of the reform program of 2006 toward reducing the number of administrative structures and addresses the question of whether this organic restructuring implies a reduction of the welfare functions performed by the state. This is a complex question and a possible answer on the basis of the analysis is a limited one. Nevertheless, the reform is directed mainly at the redesign and reallocation of formal functions within the structure of the administration (executive functions, consultative functions, management of resources), not resulting necessarily in a substantial reduction of welfare state functions. This acknowledges the normative concept of the state underlying the reform and the possible need to review this conclusion in light of further developments.

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