Comparing Agencification in Nordic Countries
During recent decades a number of public management reforms diffused between the public sectors across the world. The reform movement included a number of organizational innovations often summarized under the label NPM. Agencification in state administration, that is creating semi-autonomous specialized agencies but still in some way hierarchically related to the parent ministry, has been an important part of the NPM movement. The previous four chapters have analysed the agencification phenomenon in each of the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In this chapter we will apply a comparative perspective on the Nordic context and summarize some broad similarities and differences in the organization of the state administration in the four countries with a specific focus on agencification. This analysis is conducted against the backdrop of a long history of agencies in the Scandinavian countries. Unlike most of the Anglo-American democracies, where executive agencies represented somewhat of an innovation, the Scandinavian countries already had an (briefer or longer) experience of agencies, and that experience shaped much of the reform.
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