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Accountability, performance and legitimacy in the welfare state

  • Accountability is one of the most widely discussed concepts of public administration research and teaching in the last decade. But why is this case? Obviously accountability is, like its counterpart transparency, a “magic concept”, and an indispensable part of the prominent and omnipresent discourse on “good governance” as well as a significant element in debates about public sector reform. The same holds true for performance, which has been a magic and contested concept ever since New Public Management (NPM) entered the discourse about “modern” processes and structures of the public sector. But the third term in the title of this paper, legitimacy, even though it is one of the basic concepts of political science and democracy and is at the heart of Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy, has been surprisingly absent from current debates about the challenges of modern public administration, and for that sake also about the future of the welfare state. This chapter argues that different concepts of legitimacy lie at the heart of mostAccountability is one of the most widely discussed concepts of public administration research and teaching in the last decade. But why is this case? Obviously accountability is, like its counterpart transparency, a “magic concept”, and an indispensable part of the prominent and omnipresent discourse on “good governance” as well as a significant element in debates about public sector reform. The same holds true for performance, which has been a magic and contested concept ever since New Public Management (NPM) entered the discourse about “modern” processes and structures of the public sector. But the third term in the title of this paper, legitimacy, even though it is one of the basic concepts of political science and democracy and is at the heart of Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy, has been surprisingly absent from current debates about the challenges of modern public administration, and for that sake also about the future of the welfare state. This chapter argues that different concepts of legitimacy lie at the heart of most debates about accountability and performance (input, output and throughput legitimacy), and that a better understanding of the relationships between accountability, performance and legitimacy can clarify some of the puzzles of contemporary research.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Werner JannORCiDGND
ISBN:978-1-4724-7059-1 (print)
ISBN:978-1-315-61271-3 (epub)
Parent Title (English):The Routledge Handbook to Accountability and Welfare State Reforms in Europe
Subtitle (German):If accountability is the answer, what was the question?
Publisher:Routledge
Place of publication:London
Editor:Per Lægreid, Tom Cristensen
Document Type:Part of a Book
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2016/12/08
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2017/03/03
First Page:31
Last Page:44
RVK - Regensburg Classification:MF 9200 ; MK 5220
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht