Aucoin: How NPM went wrong
In an influential 1990 Governance article, Peter Aucoin argued that New Public Management wrestled with a tension between empowering public servants and tightening political control over them. In the current issue of Governance, Aucoin argues that in many cases the drive for political control has won out, producing what he calls the New Political Governance (NPG). NPG has four features: the harnessing of administration to a “continuous campaign” for reelection; the rise of political staff as a “third force” in governance; the politicization of senior administrative appointments; and an expectation of public service loyalty to the government of the day. Open access to the article.
Peter Aucoin passed away in July 2011. This article was in the final stages of review at Governance at the time. The editors are pleased to publish it in recognition of Professor Aucoin’s service to the journal and the field of public administration.
The current issue also includes two comments on Aucoin’s article. Jonathan Boston of Victoria University of Wellington asks how many of the elements of NPG are really new. And J.R. Nethercote of Australian Catholic University acknowledges the pressure of accelerated news cycles and continuous campaigns, but suggests that Westminster systems do correct themselves after excesses of politicization. Read the commentaries.