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Civilizing the State Bureaucracy: The Unfulfilled Promise of Public Administration Reform in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic (1990-2000)


This paper is an analysis of the politics of public administration reform in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic that examines why, despite the ambition and scope of such reform, its results have been disappointing and sometimes even counterproductive. It examines the genesis, implementation, and political consequences of policies to reform state administration. The first section lays out the theory of public administration reform -- its rationale, goals, and favored policy instruments. The second section compares the translation of public administration reform from theory to practice in these three countries. This comparison then forms the basis for some reflections on the difficulties of state-building after Communism.

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