The aim of this paper is to explore the possible varieties of convergence in the public administrations of members of the European Union, as well as the framework for analysing aspects of convergence. It assists students of comparative public administration who attempt to understand “puzzles” triggered by NPM and EU pressures. These pressures seem to push national systems in opposite directions, and not to be united as a single force for a particular model. At the same time, however, both involve assertive action by government to achieve reform in the face of inertia or hostility of public bureaucracies anxious to preserve their traditional arrangements. The paper suggests that the answer to the question “Are West European administrative systems becoming more alike?” cannot be simply “yes” or “no”. With the impact of NPM the answer must be “more than they used to”, but as a trend toward a common destination, “no”. With the impact of the EU the answer must be “yes” and “no” depending on which aspect of an administrative system is being examined.
This paper concerns public sub-sector branding within the higher education (HE) system. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how public sub-sector branding within…
This paper concerns public sub-sector branding within the higher education (HE) system. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how public sub-sector branding within HE is organized and how it is influenced by the use of national values, traits and characteristics.
The study relies on two data sources: first, the paper benefits from a data set of one-stop web-portals for HE from the 23 countries listed in Times Higher Education’s top-60 universities ranking. Second, it builds on a sample and brief overview of Norway’s sub-sector branding of its HE sector.
Expert authorities within the HE sector are legally and organizationally responsible for sub-sector branding, and they establish coordinated and coherent web-portals. In practice, however, nation-branding concerns are influencing on how the HE sub-sector is branded. The paper concludes with a discussion of democratic implications, and points to paradoxes arising from the use of national clichés and characteristics in this highly international sub-sector of the public realm.
The paper informs discussions about public sub-sector branding within HE, a phenomenon that thus far has not been systematically studied. The practical applications of such a study are evident, as branding is becoming more important in the public sector in general, and in HE in particular.