Managing without a budget: public management and the rise of EU governance

Lovering, Ian Alexander (2021) Managing without a budget: public management and the rise of EU governance. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the often remarked shift since the 1990s from ‘government’ to ‘governance’. A key part of the governance paradigm has been the construction of public authority at a supranational and local level beyond the central nation-state, and the explosion of managerial policy instruments like benchmarks and indicators. Compared to neoliberalism’s assault on the state in the 1980s, the concept of governance highlighted the return of planning as a networked, entrepreneurial, and strategic endeavour of Third Way social democracy. Puzzlingly missing in depictions of a new age of state activism was a major instrument of public policy –the budget. The governance paradigm referred to private finance, not public finance; policy networks, not budgetary appropriations. This thesis addresses European integration in the 1990s as a paradigmatic case of the governance turn. The creation of the EU in 1992 deeply integrated markets but without a joint supranational budgetary capacity to match. Instead, member states were meant to coordinate their policies through rules, guidelines, and quantitative benchmarking exercises collectively characterised as ‘EU governance’. Critical literature on the EU explains governance as the triumph of neo/ordoliberalism. The trouble with this critical literature is that the managerial policy instruments that characterise the governance paradigm fit uncomfortably with the principle-based rule of ordoliberalism and neoliberal antipathies to state information processing. I instead retrace the governance turn to state planning in the mid-twentieth century. I show how the governance paradigm in the 1990s reflected the re-articulation of planning at a supranational level using techniques of information processing and strategizing by new social forces of public management. The significance of the governance paradigm is therefore how supranational institutions in the EU have used the forces and format of public management to overcome the familiar challenge of international organisations that they lack both budgetary and coercive means of policy-making and implementation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance > HJ0241 By region or country > HJ1000 Europe. Including European Union countries discussed collectively
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General) > JF1338 Public administration
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 10:04
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2021 10:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/98316

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