© 2018

Evaluating Reforms of Local Public and Social Services in Europe

More Evidence for Better Results

  • Ivan Koprić
  • Hellmut Wollmann
  • Gérard Marcou


  • Provides an overview of the established results and effects of modernization, decentralization, and other New Public Management-driven reforms, austerity policy, and post-NPM influences

  • Systematises lessons learned from both successful and unsuccessful changes of local public and social service delivery

  • Examines evaluation in 17 European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Turkey


Part of the Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Ivan Koprić, Hellmut Wollmann
    Pages 1-18
  3. Gérard Marcou, Anamarija Musa
    Pages 19-34
  4. Hellmut Wollmann, Frank Bönker
    Pages 65-80
  5. José M. Alonso, Judith Clifton, Daniel Díaz-Fuentes
    Pages 81-96
  6. Jana Soukopová, Beata Mikušová Meričková, Juraj Nemec
    Pages 151-169
  7. Harald Torsteinsen, Marieke van Genugten, Łukasz Mikuła, Carla Puiggrós Mussons, Esther Pano Puey
    Pages 171-189
  8. Pierre Bauby, Mihaela M. Similie
    Pages 191-206
  9. Giulio Citroni, Marco Di Giulio, Maria Tullia Galanti, Andrea Lippi, Stefania Profeti
    Pages 225-242

About this book


This book explains the increasing demand for evaluation as a result of the increasing frequency of reforms to local services, influenced by the New Public Management doctrine, the severe austerity policy in many European countries, and the wish to increase quality and reduce costs of public services, especially at the local (sub-national) level. Positioned at the interface of local services and evaluation research, it will enable the utilization of evaluation-generated knowledge in evidence-based policy making by focusing on the lessons learned from evaluation of local service delivery. It encompasses local public and social services (including waste, water, public transport, healthcare, education and eldercare) and examines the hypothesis that there is a North-West–South-East divide in Europe in terms of the evaluation of local service reforms. Particular attention is devoted to the explanatory function of evaluation. Providing fresh insight into the functioning of local government machinery in contemporary Europe, this book will appeal in particular to practitioners and students of local government, public economy, public administration and policy.


Public and Social Services New Public Management austerity policy local public sector reforms local service reforms in Europe sub-national governments Regulatory impact assessment regulatory policy evidence-based policy performance management and evaluation personal social services evaluation approaches marketization of public services privatization of public services inter-municipal cooperation Public Sector Agentification decentralisation reform public management modernization Policy Evaluation Capacity local service provision

Editors and affiliations

  • Ivan Koprić
    • 1
  • Hellmut Wollmann
    • 2
  • Gérard Marcou
    • 3
  1. 1.Administrative Science and Local GovernmentUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Institute for Social SciencesHumboldt University of BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.GRALE (Groupement de Recherche sur l’Administration Locale en Europe)University Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance

About the editors

Ivan Koprić is Professor of Administrative Science and Local Government at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, President of the Institute of Public Administration in Zagreb, Croatia, and editor-in-chief of Croatian and Comparative Public Administration. His recent books include Public and Social Services in Europe (edited with H. Wollmann and G. Marcou, 2016), European Administrative Space (edited with P. Kovač, 2017), Citizens, Public Administration, and Local Government (edited with A. Musa and T. Giljević, 2017).

Hellmut Wollmann is Emeritus Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany. His recent books include Public and Social Services in Europe (2016), and Introduction to Comparative Public Administration (with S. Kuhlmann, 2014). 

Gérard Marcou was Professor of Public Law at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and Director of GRALE (Groupement de Recherche sur l’Administration Locale en Europe), France. His recent books include Public and Social Services in Europe (2016), and Provision of Public Services in Europe (2010).

Bibliographic information

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“If local governments are the ‘lighthouses’ for our public sector, then this book is a ‘lighthouse’ for our knowledge about these European local governments. Based on evaluation-generated evidence, this book focuses on how concrete service delivery is affected by reforms. That makes this book a must-read for comparativists, whether they are academics, pracademics, or practitioners.” (Geert Bouckaert, Professor of Social Sciences at KU Leuven Public Governance Institute and President of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, Belgium)

“This book is an important step forward to extend our knowledge about the evaluation of modernization processes in local service delivery. By adopting a comparative perspective, the book explores various approaches and effects of local public sector reforms focusing on institutional changes in the provision of public services. A variety of key topics are critically analysed by internationally renowned experts of the field making this book a must-read for scholars and practitioners alike.” (Sabine Kuhlmann, Professor of Public Administration and Organization, University of Potsdam, Germany)

“This book appraises the evaluation of reforms to local and public and social services across a range of European countries. The use and quality of evaluation is highly variable within and across countries, and the analyses illuminate different approaches and continuing issues and lessons.” (John Halligan, Professor of Public Administration, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra, Australia)