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See detailNew Public Management and Strategic Change in the European Railways - A critical study on the EU governance of megaprojects
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2018)

Over the last five decades, European public sectors have undergone a profound process of organizational change, where managerial tools and principles from the private sector have permeated through ... [more ▼]

Over the last five decades, European public sectors have undergone a profound process of organizational change, where managerial tools and principles from the private sector have permeated through governments and administrations of many countries. New Public Management (NPM) reform ideas were crucial to this change. Mainstream studies on NPM reforms commonly see it as a mere pragmatic and apolitical framework of reform to downsize State bureaucracies and render public service delivery more efficiently and effectively responsive to users’ demands. Following the Critical Management Studies tradition, this PhD dissertation questions this taken-for-grantedness of NPM and denaturalizes the mainstream idea of NPM reforms as a technical, rational analytic and evidence-based domain. It rather presents them as the result of a historical process marked by politics and power. We choose the European rail industries as empirical context of analysis. Firstly, we examine the EU-driven implementation of NPM reforms in this sector. Secondly, we narrow the focus on the governance of TEN-T, an EU-level investment program in transport infrastructures designed on the basis of key NPM principles. This program is of crucial importance for the full accomplishment of NPM reforms in the national rail industries of the EU. The dissertation is structured in two parts. The first part investigates how NPM ideas developed throughout the political agendas of European national parties and were transformed into actual reform plans by governments. The second part examines how NPM ideas translate into managerial action. Our analysis suggests that the top-down performance-based design of NPM models leads to effectiveness and efficiency improvements in the functioning of public sector organizations which, under certain circumstances, contrast with the most fundamental democratic values of State institutions. These models might thus turn constitutional democracies into technocracies. We conclude by discussing alternatives to NPM, such as the Public Value paradigm. [less ▲]

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See detailThe European Public Sectors in the Age of Managerialism
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Ferlie, Ewan; Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio

in Politics (2018)

During the past 50 years, European public sectors have undergone a profound process of organizational change, where managerial tools and principles from the private sector have permeated through ... [more ▼]

During the past 50 years, European public sectors have undergone a profound process of organizational change, where managerial tools and principles from the private sector have permeated through governments and administrations of many countries. A substantial amount of academic literature has now been devoted to public management reforms. Many scholars have associated them with the diffusion of a managerialist ideology. However, the relationship between public management reforms, political ideology, and public expressions of support for these reforms by political parties has been a relatively under-explored topic within the literature and is the gap we address in this article. Using a longitudinal framework of study, our analysis shows how issues surrounding managerialist reforms have evolved across the electoral manifestos of European parties during the past 50 years. Our findings reveal that these reforms have enjoyed a growing political profile over time in many countries within Western and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, we also examine and discuss the differences and similarities of these reforms across countries. [less ▲]

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See detailThe changing nature of railways in Europe: empirical evidence on prices, investments and quality
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Doleschel, Julia; Kaloud, Tobias et al

in Florio, Massimo (Ed.) The Reform of Network Industries Evaluating Privatisation, Regulation and Liberalisation in the EU (2017)

Network services such as electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, transport and water are crucial factors of economic well-being as they offer society the opportunity to coordinate, over time and ... [more ▼]

Network services such as electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, transport and water are crucial factors of economic well-being as they offer society the opportunity to coordinate, over time and space, large and complex flows of essential goods, people or services. Until the 1980s, these services in Europe were mainly provided by vertically integrated state-owned monopolies. Then, following the wave of NPM reforms in the organization of national public sectors, many governments dismantled stated-owned enterprises. This section focuses on the European railway sector. After a brief explanation of the main transformations occurred in this sector, this study presents the EU regulatory milestones in support of liberalization and offers insights on the implementation status of these reforms in selected countries (France, Italy, Spain and Germany). It finally provides empirical evidence on the impact of railway-related regulatory regimes (market-friendly VS monopolistic regulations) on prices, investments and quality of rail services. [less ▲]

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See detailNew Mutualism and Old Practices: When Cooperatives’ Members Need a new Form of Self-Organisation
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Pinto, Mauro; Trasciani, Giorgia

Scientific conference (2017, September 22)

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See detailAdministrative Change in the EU: a Cross-Country Empirical Study on the Contextual Determinants of NPM Reform Rhetoric
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio; Trasciani, Giorgia

in Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics (2017), 88(3), 323344

Framed within the paradigm of New Public Management (NPM), structural reforms in the EU aimed at modernizing the public administrations of Member States (MSs) have long since been a priority area of the ... [more ▼]

Framed within the paradigm of New Public Management (NPM), structural reforms in the EU aimed at modernizing the public administrations of Member States (MSs) have long since been a priority area of the EU’s economic policy. Since the 1990s, these reforms have been sharply intensified across European countries with the declared purpose of enhancing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in their national public sectors’ organizations. In line with the European Commission’s recent research initiatives in search for novel quantitative data on NPM in the EU, this paper studies European parties’ NPM reform rhetoric. More specifically, it investigates the MSs’ institutional, economic and political context within which parties have declared their intention of reforming national administrative systems. Thus, it sheds light on the MSs’ domestic factors that are associated with the diffusion of the NPM values across the political discourse of EU’s national parties. [less ▲]

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See detailLabor market transformation and new forms of self-organizing: the case of Italian Clap
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Pinto, Mauro; Trasciani, Giorgia

Conference (2017, June 30)

The late 20th century age of globalisation witnessed growing deregulation of national labour markets following the OECD (1994) guidelines. Some scholars (i.e. Avdagic and Crouch 2015) have argued that ... [more ▼]

The late 20th century age of globalisation witnessed growing deregulation of national labour markets following the OECD (1994) guidelines. Some scholars (i.e. Avdagic and Crouch 2015) have argued that labour market deregulation has resulted into a growth of “precarious work”, a non-standard form of employment that is poorly paid, insecure, unprotected, and cannot support a household. Traditional trade unions organizations have failed in addressing the needs of this fraction of the working class. Indeed, some commentators (Näswall et al. 2004) have showed that greater levels of subjective job insecurity tend to be systematically correlated with less member satisfaction with unions, less identification with unions and a stronger desire to leave unions. Our presentation addresses this issue as well as the process through which precarious workers organize and find new collective strategies to defend and improve their working conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailPatterns of administrative integration in the European Union: a cross-country empirical analysis of political intentions to reform national public administrations (1997-2011)
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio; Trasciani, Giorgia

E-print/Working paper (2015)

In the aftermath of the worst financial and economic crisis in generations, the modernization of public administrations of the EU’s Member States (MSs) is among the structural reforms recommended by the ... [more ▼]

In the aftermath of the worst financial and economic crisis in generations, the modernization of public administrations of the EU’s Member States (MSs) is among the structural reforms recommended by the European Commission to relaunch growth in the European economy. This type of reforms has a longstanding tradition in the MSs as they sharply intensified during the 1990s following the paradigm of New Public Management (NPM). Indeed, by backing NPM-style reforms, the European Commission has fostered convergence between the administrative systems of the MSs based on a soft strategy of integration where, instead of establishing binding pan-European rules enforced directly in all the MSs, it has set a number of regulatory standards implemented in the MSs with the support of national legislators and political parties. This paper empirically addresses the above-mentioned process of soft integration by unveiling the domestic determinants that have led MSs’ political parties to call for NPM-style reforms in their national contexts between 1997 and 2011. The hypothesis tested in this study is that MSs’ political parties have called for NPM-style reforms in order to respond to specific challenges issuing from the macro-economic, institutional and political configuration of their domestic contexts. The contribution of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, it contributes to a better understanding of the process of European administrative integration by providing robust empirical evidence about the patterns of diffusion NPM-style reforms across the MSs of the EU. On the other hand, the empirical evidence provided by this paper for the comprehension of NPM-style reforms in the context of the EU also contributes to a better understanding of some traditional theories addressing the reasons of the worldwide striking international trend of the NPM paradigm. [less ▲]

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See detailThe European Public Sectors in The Age of Managerialism: a cross-country empirical study reconstructing the political history of public administrations in Europe during the XX century
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio

E-print/Working paper (2015)

During the XX century European administrative systems have undergone a profound process of managerial revolution during which private sector managerial tools and principles have spread across both central ... [more ▼]

During the XX century European administrative systems have undergone a profound process of managerial revolution during which private sector managerial tools and principles have spread across both central and local governments in many countries. As many scholars have associated this process of change with the raise and diffusion of a managerialist ideology, this paper empirically investigates the electoral propaganda that since 1950s has supported the diffusion of managerialist values across the national administrative systems of the European countries. On the basis of a longitudinal study of the electoral programs released by the European parties since 1950s, this research provides evidence-based knowledge about: i) the different patterns of diffusion of the public-sector managerialist propaganda in Eastern and Western Europe; ii) the controversial relationship that exists between the spread of the managerialist ideology and the actual adoption of managerialist reforms in the national structures of the public sector. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Political Genealogy of New Public Management: politicians’ willingness behind administrative reforms
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio

Scientific conference (2014, September 16)

Despite all the criticisms levelled against New Public Management (NPM) and the arguments raised in favor of a post-NPM model, the three e’s – effectiveness, efficiency and economy - still feature high on ... [more ▼]

Despite all the criticisms levelled against New Public Management (NPM) and the arguments raised in favor of a post-NPM model, the three e’s – effectiveness, efficiency and economy - still feature high on the political agenda of European countries in the field of public sector organizations. Bearing in mind that for an administrative system to move significantly towards NPM it is important to have politicians willing to shift in that direction, this paper undertakes a long-term cross-country analysis of NPM reforms in Europe based on the content of political parties’ manifestos released since 1950s. Given that no comprehensive empirical analysis is available about European parties’ positioning concerning NPM reforms, our study shows how the parties’ promise of promoting more effectiveness, efficiency and economy in government and public administration has varied across European countries during the last half-century. The study allows understanding not only the differences among national contexts in both Eastern and Western Europe, but also the variations through time across political forces that have engaged the most in calling for NPM reforms. [less ▲]

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See detailNPM Under Pressure: An Inquiry in Theory
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege

Scientific conference (2014)

This theoretical inquiry is undertaken on the basis of the problematization methodology proposed by Alvesson et Sandberg (2011) and deriving from a critical approach to management studies. In this paper ... [more ▼]

This theoretical inquiry is undertaken on the basis of the problematization methodology proposed by Alvesson et Sandberg (2011) and deriving from a critical approach to management studies. In this paper, problematization is adopted not only to question the fundamental assumptions of New Public Management (NPM) theory, but also to develop alternative assumptions to be explored in order to highlight a new way of approaching the managerial practices of public organizations. Starting from the in-house level of assumptions, NPM theoretical body has been gradually deconstructed by progressively increasing the level of abstraction and reaching the field level of assumption. The assumption’s content at each level of abstraction has been determined thanks to a continuum comparison between NPM and the Public Value Theory (PVT) school of thought. Because of its status of challenging theory, PVT has played the role of a theoretical reagent added to NPM system of thought in order to bring about a theoretical reaction enabling to spotlight problematic assumptions and generate further research questions. Such a “theoretical reaction” has shown that NPM is a functionalist theory based on a rationalistic approach to public organizations which are conceived as machines whose proper functioning depends on efficiency improvements to be achieved by means of a planning mode of management. [less ▲]

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See detailEU Governance: Democracy as a mere Fragment of Political Discourse
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Ferrando, Tomaso

in DYMARSKI, Wlodeck; FRANGAKIS, Marika; LEAMAN, Jeremy (Eds.) The Deepening Crisis of the European Union: The Case for Radical Change (2014)

A march toward deeper democratic decision-making procedures cannot be combined with the current European strategy, because the EU is not conceived to be a democratic authority, but rather a supranational ... [more ▼]

A march toward deeper democratic decision-making procedures cannot be combined with the current European strategy, because the EU is not conceived to be a democratic authority, but rather a supranational normative authority whose purpose is to achieve the objectives defined in the treaties and mainly, in accordance with the Monnet method, European integration through the establishment of a single market based on the perfect competition model. In this view, the so called democratic deficit is not an occasional dysfunction of the EU decision-making process, but rather a crucial prerequisite to implement credible commitment for market preservation.For these reasons we argue that democratic legitimacy and economic efficiency are decoupled in the EU integration strategy. It emerges from the existing discrepancy between the treaty’s formulations and the decisional practice of institutions, that democratic and economic goals are separately pursued. [less ▲]

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See detailItalian Cooperatives: the organisational form for the equality and solidarity principles
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Trasciani, Giorgia; Vigilanti, Cecilia et al

Scientific conference (2013, July 03)

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See detailImporre o Invitare? Le politiche di corporate social responsibility alla ricerca di un'identità europea
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Carobolante, Anna

in Ianus: Diritto e Finanza (2013), 9

Périodique scientifique - The authors take as starting point the success of the Corporate Social Responsibility “label”, in order to analyse such concept within the EU context. As the EU approach to CSR ... [more ▼]

Périodique scientifique - The authors take as starting point the success of the Corporate Social Responsibility “label”, in order to analyse such concept within the EU context. As the EU approach to CSR follows closely the path tracked by the UN, special attention will be given to the commitments undertaken by the European Commission in its 2011 Communication, which led to the recent adoption of EU-endorsed Guidelines on Business and Human Rights; such initiatives will also be examined against the Commission’s policy on fundamental rights. Some concrete examples drawn from parliamentary questions on matters related to CSR, will help illustrate the role of the European Parliament in shaping a EU position on such issues, as well as give some insights into the developments in the EU policy on CSR. [less ▲]

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See detailCentralization of power in European Union: Is it only a matter of crisis?
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Ferrando, Tomaso

Scientific conference (2012, September 29)

The Treaty of Lisbon has formally integrated National Parliaments into EU institutional architecture through the introduction of the Early Warning Mechanism (EWM), a procedure of parliamentary control ... [more ▼]

The Treaty of Lisbon has formally integrated National Parliaments into EU institutional architecture through the introduction of the Early Warning Mechanism (EWM), a procedure of parliamentary control over subsidiarity. In the eyes of European Member States, this procedural innovation aims to contribute to the parlamentarisation of the decision-making process, and to attenuate the traditional democratic deficit. As a first step, we present the weak points of the EWM. We thus provide a study of its "ratio decidendi" (ultimate target), in order to understand the impact that such procedural innovations can effectively achieve with regard to the EU decision-making process. As a second step, we provide a more general interpretation of the empirical findings, by connecting the traditional problem of democracy at EU level with the constraints stemming from the European integration model adopting the functionalist Monnet method. In this stage we contend that, in the current EU structure of governance, democratic legitimacy and economic efficiency represent two separate objectives, where democracy mainly plays of discursive role formally legitimising EU policies in the eyes of the public opinion. [less ▲]

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See detailUnione europea ed il dilemma centro-periferie: e se non fosse solo un momento di crisi?
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Ferrando, Tomaso

Conference (2012, May 18)

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See detailIl Meccanismo di Allerta Precoce e il Controllo Politico dei Parlamenti Nazionali: un Approccio Critico alla Questione Democratica e ai Vincoli Imposti dal Processo di Integrazione
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege; Ferrando, Tomaso

in Ianus: Diritto e Finanza (2012), (7),

Through a cross-disciplinary approach the authors provide an analysis of the large impact of the Early Warning Mechanism introduced in the Treaty of Lisbon with the goal of involving National Parliaments ... [more ▼]

Through a cross-disciplinary approach the authors provide an analysis of the large impact of the Early Warning Mechanism introduced in the Treaty of Lisbon with the goal of involving National Parliaments (NPs) in the European normative production and, consequently, contributing to a higher “democraticity” of EU decision-making process. The involvement of NPs should increase compliance with the principle of subsidiarity and overcome the traditional democratic deficit. The paper – through a critical perspective- concludes connecting the weakness of more democratising procedures with some crucial peculiarities of the prevailing EU integration paradigm. [less ▲]

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See detailDialogo Diretto tra il Parlamento Nazionale e l’UE
Bertini, Ilaria; Cottu, Enrico; Esposito, Giovanni ULiege et al

Report (2011)

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See detailI Pilastri del Reale. Robert W. Cox: il contributo della Teoria Critica alla comprensione delle relazioni internazionali
Esposito, Giovanni ULiege

Book published by IlFilo (2009)

"[Le istituzioni] sussistono al fine di neutralizzare il conflitto tra le forze in lotta, cercando di fornire alle immagini collettive dominanti il consenso più ampio possibile in tutto lo spettro sociale ... [more ▼]

"[Le istituzioni] sussistono al fine di neutralizzare il conflitto tra le forze in lotta, cercando di fornire alle immagini collettive dominanti il consenso più ampio possibile in tutto lo spettro sociale. [...] Questo processo di istituzionalizzazione non è altro che un modo attraverso cui il gruppo sostenente l'immagine collettiva prevalente cerca di garantire la propria posizione di potere, mettendo in piedi non un semplice regime di dominio bensì un più complesso apparato egemonico". Il libro rintraccia le aporie insite nel sistema positivistico/capitalistico di produzione del sapere, svelando la connessione tra potere e conoscenza, a lungo celata dalla pretesa scientificità analitica della mainstream. Scardinare quell'impostazione metodologica significa riconsiderare il canone di relazione tra soggetto e oggetto, emancipando il primo dal secondo e la conoscenza dalla contingente organizzazione del potere" [less ▲]

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