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A LEFT/RIGHT CONVERGENCE ON THE NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT? THE UNINTENDED POWER OF DIVERSE IDEAS
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Research Institute Ind Econ IFN, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: Critical review (New York, N.Y.), ISSN 0891-3811, E-ISSN 1933-8007, Vol. 28, no 3-4, p. 380-403Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While it might appear self-evident that the trend toward the New Public Management (NPM) in the public administration systems of many Western countries is an outgrowth of neoliberalism, the case of Swedish education suggests that such policies can have widely different and counterintuitive sources. Ideas about education from both sides of the political spectrum appear to have paved the way for NPM in the Swedish school system. This possibility casts the ideological basis for NPM reforms in a new light, at least in the context of the Swedish school system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2016. Vol. 28, no 3-4, p. 380-403
Keywords [en]
Christopher Hood; deprofessionalization; education; neoliberalism; New Public Management
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134792DOI: 10.1080/08913811.2016.1234158ISI: 000392732100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-134792DiVA, id: diva2:1076997
Note

Funding Agencies|Stiftelsen Millenium

Available from: 2017-02-24 Created: 2017-02-24 Last updated: 2019-01-17
In thesis
1. Market, State, and Morality: Two Studies of How Left and Right Undermined Moral Motivation in the Swedish School System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Market, State, and Morality: Two Studies of How Left and Right Undermined Moral Motivation in the Swedish School System
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The bulk of the literature on the New Public Management (NPM) has been blind to the moral dimension of the market-oriented reforms of the public sector. However, this thesis studies the potential for institutional arrangements such as financial incentives and other market mechanisms to undermine intrinsic, moral motivation among both“producers” and “consumers” of tax-financed welfare services. The first paper demonstrates how the promotion of NPM-like ideas by various left-wing and right-wing agents after 1968 led to the erosion of a professional ethos among Swedish teachers. The second paper shows how an ill-conceived school voucher reform in Sweden, implemented under the banner of NPM, has encouraged moral hazard on the part of schools. The thesis demonstrates an ecumenism between the left and right that with few exceptions has been overlooked in political science. It also demonstrates that public administration systems that have adopted market-oriented reforms need morality in order to function in accordance with the principles underlying these institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. p. 41
Series
FiF-avhandling - Filosofiska fakulteten – Linköpings universitet, ISSN 1401-4637 ; 122
Keywords
Education; markets; morality; neoliberalism; New Public Management
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Economics and Business Business Administration Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137641 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-137641 (DOI)978-91-7685-523-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-05-23, Statsvetenskapliga avdelningen, Campus Valla, LInköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The series name, Linköping Studies in Arts and Science Thesis, is incorrect. Correct series name is FiF-avhandling.

Available from: 2017-05-23 Created: 2017-05-23 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved
2. Interpreting Policy Convergence Between the Left and the Right
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interpreting Policy Convergence Between the Left and the Right
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is made up of four essays that address major problems in the policy areas of education and immigration in Sweden and an introductory essay that offers an overarching analysis of the results of the four individual studies. The first three essays analyze the significant decline in quality of elementary and secondary education since the late 1990s from three different angles: the decline in teachers’ working conditions and status (Essay I), the deficiencies in the regulatory framework of Sweden’s system of school competition between public and for-profit providers of education (Essay II), and the prescribed view of knowledge in Swedish schools (Essay III). The fourth essay examines the policy of refugee placement in recent years. It shows that peripheral and rural municipalities with declining populations and high unemployment have received greater numbers of refugees per capita than growing urban municipalities offering better employment opportunities. The introductory essay focuses on the common thread in the four essays, namely, policy convergence between the Left and the Right. In fact, the empirical evidence in the individual studies suggests that the Social Democrats and the Moderate Party have a propensity for policy convergence in the two areas analyzed, but that it is unintentional and hard to detect for the actors themselves. This observation runs counter to what is typically assumed in political science, namely, that the Left and the Right are polar opposites with widely divergent policy agendas.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen består av fyra artiklar om svensk utbildnings- och migrationspolitik och en kappa som syntetiserar de enskilda studierna. Den första artikeln undersöker hur svenska lärares yrkesstolthet och inneboende drivkrafter att göra ett bra jobb har påverkats av vänster- och högerpolitikers syn på läraryrket. Den andra artikeln undersöker hur marknadsutsättningen av det svenska skolväsendet har påverkat kunskapsnivån bland svenska elever. Den tredje artikeln bygger vidare på de två första studierna och undersöker synen på ämneskunskaper i skolans styrdokument och dess påverkan både på läraryrkets ställning och elevers kunskaper. Den fjärde artikeln undersöker det geografiska mönstret i kommunplaceringen av nyanlända flyktingar i Sverige.

Avhandlingens övergripande bidrag är att den, genom att studera två olika politikområden, visar att vänstern och högern i Sverige har en omedveten benägenhet att konvergera politiskt. Trots att man anser sig stå på olika sidor i politiken visar empirin i de fyra studierna att vänster- och högerpolitiker i främst Socialdemokraterna och Moderaterna har dragit åt samma håll i både utbildnings- och migrationspolitiken.

Den första artikeln visar att politiker både till vänster och till höger ofta har varit skeptiska till lärarnas inflytande i skolan och sett det som ett hinder för elevernas frihet och lärande, vilket har bidragit till att underminera lärarnas professionella etos. Den andra artikeln visar att både vänster- och högerpolitiker underlät att utforma regelverket för skolkonkurrensen så att privata utförare styrdes mot att erbjuda en undervisning av hög kvalitet. I stället uppstod en konkurrens med höga betyg. Den tredje artikeln visar likaledes att skolans konstruktivistiska kunskapssyn, som både har reducerat lärarnas yrkesroll till förmån för elevernas eget arbete och förstärkt utvecklingen mot en konkurrens med betyg, har stöttats av såväl vänster- som högerpolitiker. Den fjärde artikeln visar att nyanlända flyktingar främst har tagits emot av mindre kommuner i avfolkningsbygder präglade av hög arbetslöshet. I artikeln framhålls att denna kontraproduktiva policy har sin grund i både vänster- och högerpolitikers välmenade idéer om flyktingmottagandet som först lanserades på nationell nivå.

Då statsvetare i såväl Sverige som internationellt ofta har antagit att vänster och höger utgör politikens motpoler erbjuder avhandlingens huvudresultat ett nytt perspektiv. Sannolikt kan det generaliseras till ytterligare politikområden. Kappan ger även en nydanande förklaring till politisk konvergens som går ut på att vänstern och högern, åtminstone i en svensk kontext, delar en moraluppfattning som främst betonar individens frihet och rättigheter medan andra, balanserande moraliska värden tonas ned. En implikation av detta är att det skapar utrymme för nya partier som positionerar sig i den nisch som därigenom uppstått.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. p. 91
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 760
Keywords
Hedgehog–fox metaphor, Immigration, Moderate Party, Moral foundations, Policy convergence, School choice, Social Democracy, Thought collectives
National Category
Public Administration Studies Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153895 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-153895 (DOI)9789176851296 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-02-15, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-01-17 Created: 2019-01-17 Last updated: 2019-01-18Bibliographically approved

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