rss_2.0Central European Journal of Public Policy FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Central European Journal of Public Policy European Journal of Public Policy Feed and Revenues Balance: The Case of Municipal Delegated Competences in Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>Local authorities’ financial resources should be commensurate with the competences provided for by the law. However, in most countries, representatives of local self-governments claim that their total revenues are insufficient to deliver allocated tasks at a standard scale and level of quality. Such statements are somewhat problematic, especially in less-developed countries, where cost-center accounting is not used and service standards are not defined. This paper analyzes the relationship between the costs of delegated competences and the resources provided to cover these costs in Slovakia. We found that Slovak municipalities (with some exceptions) do not know the exact costs of delegated competences, and that the state does not cover the total costs of delegated competences, which contradicts the Slovak constitution. Our short comparison in the discussion shows that the Czech situation is very similar, suggesting that the problem might be common for all post-Soviet countries.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Analysis of the European Centralised Public Procurement<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>When analysing centralised public procurement models and solutions from the public administration point of view, attention needs to be paid to the specific features of public procurement as well as the institutional characteristics of the major central procurement organisations. In this paper, central procurement organisations in 11 European countries were compared based on interviews according to their activities, market positions and institutional characteristics. We shall address the issue of efficiency and stability of organisational structures by comparing the practice of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and non-CEE European Countries. This comparison analyses the differences of the countries’ centralised public procurement structures and reveals the diversity of analytic criteria, underlining that the legal regulatory background to public procurement is not necessarily predominant in determining specific features and characteristics. The stability and market-oriented characteristics of a centralised public procurement system have an impact on the innovativeness of central purchasing bodies (CPBs) and on the development of their service provider nature, which should be taken into account by the CEE countries with a less-developed public procurement culture.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue management trends in the public sector: A literature review and research agenda<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Scholars and practitioners have, for many decades, sought to address management issues related to public sector policies. This study examines the academic research on this sector focused on these topics by conducting an automated computer analysis of 17,928 documents indexed in Scopus and published between 1950 and 2021. Six clusters were identified within this literature: economic growth during crises, reforms for the future, human relations, successful practices, partnerships and public banking services. This study thus systematises the lessons learned over the past decades, thereby contributing to governments’ ability to design public policies to meet future challenges and providing tools for dealing with the current coronavirus disease-19 pandemic.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Building and The Link Between Public Trust and Corruption Perception: Comparative Analysis Before And After The Armenian Velvet Revolution in 2018<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>Eastern European post-communist countries inherited pervasive corruption after the breakup of the USSR. Public trust was the crucial factor in tackling corruption and democracy building in these countries. This article takes Armenia as a case to study the antecedents and evolution of trust in Eastern European post-communist countries that went through a government coup in the 21st century. By comparing the corruption situation in Armenia before and after the Velvet Revolution 2018, we scrutinise how trust was and is critical to combating corruption and democracy building. We argue that in transition governments, one can distinguish two sources of creating public trust. The first wave generates when the government is newly established, and people trust the leader and his persona. Arguably, in this stage, the level of trust generated is based on expectations. The second wave of trust comes with the government’s actual performance, measured partly based on corruption perception.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Public Sector in Eastern European and Former Soviet Union Countries: A Systematic Literature Review<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>This article applies a systematic literature-based approach to select, analyze, and categorize publications appearing on public sector management (PSM) reforms in Eastern European (EE) and former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. Findings of the literature review reveal the complexity of reformation in the region and point to the multilayered character of the reform processes, including design of the reform content, implementation, and evaluation of achieved results. The analysis, also shows that the reforms’ results are uneven and somewhat controversial. This article contributes by systematizing literature on transforming PSM in EE and FSU countries; analyzing the trajectories of the dominant reforms and finding overlooked topics; providing avenues for future research; and by contextually covering twenty-eight countries that experienced economic transition and significant societal transformations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Health Measures Enacted by the Norwegian Political Leadership to Protect the Elderly in Response to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Crisis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic crisis is ongoing, and the elderly are still affected by the virus, sometimes with fatal consequences. The political leaders are, inter alia, focussed on protecting citizens, including this vulnerable group. This article aims to describe the response of the Norwegian political leadership, with a focus on the public health measures enacted to protect the elderly during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic crisis in the years 2020 and 2021. This study has a descriptive qualitative research design using thematic-content analysis as a methodology to evaluate data collected from official documents, national statistics and public health documents from Norway. Statistics show that the elderly mortality rate per 100,000 person-weeks during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was 2.69 in Norway; during the second wave of the pandemic, it was 1.43. The public health measures the Norwegian political leadership instigated were more effective in containing the crisis when compared to other European countries, and this paper investigates the reasons. The results of our study provide public health policy decision-makers with insights into analytical material showing the usefulness of different measures enacted by the Norwegian government. The Norwegian government’s responses to the crisis, such as the public health measures, restrictions, social consequences for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, as well as cross-government and cross-community cooperation, will need further in-depth analysis.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Platform for Collaboration: The Views of Civil Society Organisations on a Local Compact<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>A considerable degree of collaboration between civil society organisations (CSOs) and governmental organisations (GOs) occurs in various collaborative areas, such as collaborative platforms, that aim to increase mutual understanding and reach shared solutions to complex social challenges. However, little is known regarding how CSOs relate to and discuss the starting conditions for participating in collaborative platforms. By highlighting the perspectives of CSOs supporting refugees, this article shows that the starting conditions affect whether CSOs decide to participate. Nevertheless, the starting conditions are also essential for their general understanding of the platform’s aim and purpose, thus affecting more than the initial decision to participate or not. A primary barrier to their participation is the political agenda behind the platform and what role CSOs think they should have in society. Consequently, the inclusive ‘whole society approach’ that collaborative platforms intend to create might be out of reach before starting the collaboration.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Analysing Relevant Policy Dimensions of Populist, Left-Wing, Centrist, and Right-Wing Parties across Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>This paper is a configurational analysis that creates a new theoretical elaboration of populist parties in Europe in terms of policy choices. The forms of populism that we can see in contemporary Europe are new, relevant and do not have a theoretical representation in the literature. This paper also provides a clearer understanding of the characteristics of populist and anti-establishment parties in Europe, which can provide valuable insights into likely responses to reformed policy environments. To do so, the paper analyses policy positions connected to the populist literature for 242 parties in Europe in 2014 and 2019 using the Chapell Hill Expert Survey and the PopuList Survey data. Groups of parties with similarly held positions in 2014 and 2019 are identified using cluster analysis to investigate whether differences in positions are defined predominately according to a national, east–west, right–left faction or other criteria. The result highlights that rather than across a classical right–left divide connotation, Europe can be divided into four clusters: right-wing populists, a moderate pro-Europe left, a pro-Europe pro-liberalism centre and an intersectional left based on identity politics. Overall, the moderate left and the centrist liberalism centre are the most common parties across Europe, and the other two factions seem to be born as a reaction to these two. However, the other two factions are growing over the years, especially the populist right-wing in Central and Eastern Europe. This brings to light serious policy implications for the future of the European Union and for considering populism simply as a discursive matter.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Do Diploma Theses Unveil about Academic Public Policy in the Czech Republic?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Although textbooks, conference papers, scientific journals and monographs deal with the research aspects of public policy, only little attention is paid to the way it is taught at universities. In this article we aim to explore academic public policy in the Czech Republic - specifically in terms of teaching outputs - using a unique method: an analysis of diploma theses. In the sample there were diploma theses defended within all the full-time Master’s study programmes having “public policy” in their names in the Czech Republic between 1995 and 2013. We conclude that there are two traditions of academic public policy in the Czech Republic, which enriches previous findings in the area and makes them more accurate. The research design and thoroughly described methodology invite other researchers to conduct international comparison of the features of academic public policy. The findings may also illustrate the trajectory made by the newly established discipline of public policy in the past twenty years in the Czech Republic, which may be of great interest to the newly formed international public policy community.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Effects on the Quality of Public Health Care: Evaluating Portuguese Public Hospitals’ Quality through Customers’ Views<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> In this paper, public health care administration issues are reviewed and public hospital patients’ views on quality of health care are empirically tested. The purpose is to support the recommendation of new public policies that lead to better performance, if necessary. Hospital patients’ views on service quality were assessed through a questionnaire to estimate a global customer satisfaction measure. We argue that customer satisfaction should be measured through multiple indicators, as a latent variable. Thus, we considered the latent segment models (LSM) approach to assess customer service satisfaction. We found a twosegment latent structure: segment 1, the satisfied, with 48 percent of patients, mostly male and middle-aged patients; and segment 2, the unsatisfied, with 52 percent of patients, mostly female and youngest/oldest patients.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Knowledge Utilization to Building Knowledge Networks Overview of Discourses on Knowledge in Policy: Thinking Knowledge, Policy and Conflict Together<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Around the world, there is a growing interest among policy scholars and practitioners in the role of knowledge in relation to public policy. These debates are accompanied by some confusion about what is meant by knowledge or evidence, as well as controversies around the role of scientists and suspicions of increasingly technocratic decision making. Our aim is to provide a useful overview of the major debates in this paper, and to trace six dominant discourses in current research that address the role of scientific knowledge or expertise in the policy process. We distinguish evidence-based policy making, knowledge utilisation, policy learning, knowledge transfer, social construction of knowledge and boundaries, and knowing in practice as separate discourses. We show how they differ in their understanding of knowledge, of the problem to solve in terms of the role of knowledge in policy, of practical implications, as well as in their understanding of public policy and in their ontologies and epistemologies. A condensed and structured representation serves as a basis for conducting comparisons across discourses as well as to open ways for analysis of strategic associations between the discourses. We hope to contribute to extending the discussion of knowledge in policy into the realm of epistemic politics and we suggest several avenues for future research that can draw on a range of concepts from across all of the discourses.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Foreign Policy Think Tanks in Italy and in the UK: An Explanatory Framework<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> This article explores the phenomenon of foreign policy think tanks in Europe in a comparative perspective and offers a framework of analysis for this topic. Assuming that think tanks were largely imported from the US after World Wars I and II, the article argues that European think tanks have been influenced by the different national political contexts in which they have undergone a process of institutionalization. First, the article hypothesizes that such contexts have contributed to determining different incentives for cooperation between think tanks and national policymakers. Such cooperation is based on the willingness of policymakers to turn to think tanks for expertise, advice or validation of policy decisions. Secondly, different political contexts are expected to influence the strategies of action that think tanks have developed towards policymakers and their audience. In this respect, the article identifies three strategies: the generalist, the advocate and the lobbyist. Empirically, the article is based on a survey of eleven organizations conducted in two countries, Italy and the United Kingdom, in 2013-14. Given that very few data are available on this type of organization, their activities, funding, policy audience and goals are investigated. These indicators are used to investigate the main commonalities and differences between the two cases and to compare them with the hypotheses. The results first show that there is comparatively more funding available for think tanks in the UK system than in the Italian one. Secondly, there is apparently more willingness from policymakers to turn to think tanks for expertise in the former case, considering that the UK think tanks hold a higher number of closed-door events and parliamentary hearings. On the contrary, where policymakers tend, instead, to more scarcely rely on external expertise - as it seems more evident in the Italian case - the core audience of think tanks tends to shift to other, more accessible targets (the public opinion, the academia or even businesses). The case study makes it more evident how advocacy becomes a far less important activity for an Italian think tank than a UK one.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Use of Knowledge in Policy Development<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Public hearings are frequently used on all levels of government to systematically collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking. The methods currently employed measure knowledge utilization in this context by means of citation analysis of edited articles and/or reports that summarize the information shared at these meetings. By combining citation analysis and social network analysis, this article develops a methodology that can be used to capture citations in transcripts of public hearings that precede these reports. In order to demonstrate its strengths and weaknesses, the method is utilized to analyze the 2009 hearings that informed the 2010 House of Commons Transport Committee report on developing the capacity of major roads in the United Kingdom to meet the country’s strategic transport needs. The research shows a good degree of consistency between two independent coders who employed this method to distinguish citations from non-citations and classify the data. It is concluded that the method can be utilized to reliably measure knowledge utilization at public hearings, and that it can be employed in conjunction with research that focuses on measuring citations in memos, briefings, articles or reports integrating some of the evidence given at these meetings.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Central European Civil Security Systems to the Economic Crisis<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The public sector across Europe and elsewhere was affected by the economic crisis which fully unfolded in 2008. Considerable attention has been paid in the literature to the impacts of related budgetary cuts on social welfare, while some other areas remain largely under-researched. One of such areas is the so-called civil security, where no such endeavour has been attempted so far. In order to fill this gap, the paper examines the civil security systems of Central European countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), employing a qualitative comparative analysis. Taking on the systems perspective, the article inquires how the stress posed by the economic crisis affected the civil security systems - their structure and financing. The paper builds on the findings from a 7th FP project, “ANVIL”, within which data on civil protection and disaster management systems were collected.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Foundations of Welfare Attitudes: The Role of Moral Intuition and Reasoning in Pursuing Social Justice<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The article interconnects the research on welfare attitudes and welfare chauvinism with moral psychology in order to develop an interdisciplinary analytical approach designed for studying attitudes to welfare policies and potentially overcoming the divisions prevalent in many European democracies. It introduces Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) - an empirical approach to analysing intuitions, reasoning, and emotions constituting moral judgment - and outlines its understanding of competing versions of fairness and distributive justice. The potential contributions of MFT are exemplified on a case study situated in contemporary Slovakia which deals with two conflicting conceptions of fairness, as equity and as equality, embodied in the diverging attitudes towards an amendment to the Act on the Assistance in Material Need (2013). The article argues that MFT and related research programmes are irreplaceable components in an interdisciplinary study of the plurality of welfare policy attitudes. It also highlights the transformative potential of MFT and related research programmes in devising interventions aimed at changing (political) attitudes to welfare and reducing their polarisation.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Public Sport Facilities in Post-Socialist Times: The Case of the Czech Republic<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The paper aims to investigate current approaches to the management of public sport facilities by local governments. In the Czech Republic, local clubs traditionally played a key role in providing sport to the public. With decreasing participation in organized sport, a significant number of clubs have been forced to transfer their facilities to local governments and the sport position of local authorities has strengthened considerably in recent years. In consequence, there have been alterations in the management of public sport facilities. The findings of statistical analysis emphasize an increasing role of specialized organizations at the expense of in-house management or external provision (facilities hired out to sport clubs). Moreover, local population and type of facility were found to be the possible reasons for different approaches. In-house management is associated with smaller municipalities whereas most of their facilities have the character of public goods. In contrast, publicly funded organizations and municipal enterprises appear in municipalities with larger populations providing sport facilities of regional importance in the form of mixed goods. Finally, clubs, as representatives of external provision, mostly provide sport facilities primarily intended for their own purposes - club goods. In the context of recent works and contemporary trends in sport participation, the research findings indicate that different forms of management may have significant effects not only on efficiency of public budgets but also on conditions for sport at local level - especially on targeting those who would participate in sport if they had access to new opportunities or leisure programs.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Study of Public Policy in the Perspective of Three Dominant Approaches<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The Velvet Revolution in 1989 did not represent only a fundamental change of the political regime, but also the beginnings of contemporary Czech study of public policy and policy expertise. This article aims to present its significant institutional aspects on the basis of a systematic analysis drawing on deLeon, Trent and Stein’s models of (sub)discipline development. It assumes that the development of a field of study is driven by the interaction between its inner dynamics and the surrounding environment (society, state and international academic community). The article identifies three dominant approaches in the configuration of the Czech field - Prague public policy, Brno political science and Brno social policy - and it focuses on their supporting infrastructure, frames of reference and contacts with the international academic community. Finally, it outlines the study’s development stages, revealing that Czech study of public has been quickly catching up with its Western counterparts.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue policy fiasco: The institutional (non-)reform of Czech public employment services in 2011<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The article deals with an institutional reform of public employment services implemented in the Czech Republic in 2011. By merging social benefits administration with employment services into the newly established Labour Office of the Czech Republic, the right-wing government attempted to reduce the staffing and administrative costs of these services and to improve the governance of local labour offices. Using the theoretical concept of “policy fiasco” and taking an interpretive perspective thereon, we analyse these organisational changes in the functioning of public employment services in the Czech Republic. Our data consist of interviews with experts on labour market policy in the Czech Republic and two focus groups with employees of labour offices who had participated in the reform process. We conclude that the institutional reform of public employment services in the Czech Republic in 2011 can be referred to as a policy fiasco in the sense of the theoretical concept used in the work of Bovens and t’Hart (1998).</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue policy in the Czech Republic: General character and selected interesting aspects<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Transformation of the health care system was a task faced by all formerly socialist Central and Eastern European countries. The years of changes revealed a large number of problems, including those induced by the limited capacity of governments to formulate and implement health care reforms. The goal of this article is to reflect the Czech situation. We start by summarizing the historical development of the Czech health care system in the context of government capacity for implementing health policy. In the core parts of this article, we highlight the main features of Czech health policy making and implementation and present an in-depth analysis of two selected country-specific issues - a low level of patient co-payments and a pluralistic insurance-based financing of health services.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue