Abstracts

 

Politica, Bind 30 (1998) 3

Abstracts

Vibeke Nonnann Anderson, Rikke Berg and Roger Bitch Jensen Organizational Change in Local Government - Challenges to the Role of Elected Officials

The transition from welfare-state to servicestate took place through the growth and development of the municipalities. Following a stage of establishment and consolidation, the municipalities from the mid 1980s entered a third phase, that of reorganization. The reorganization phase involves a number of changes: decentralization, management by objectives, citizen and user surveys, etc. Service democracy challenges local government politicians and the role of politicians: changes in and a deterioration of the role of politicians, insufficient learning at the political level, changes in the distribution of power between politicians and users and not least the administration, and further changes in the distribution of power between marginal and core politicians, role conflict between users and citizens, as well as cross pressures stemming from an increase in asymmetrical expenditure and distribution processes.

Poul Erik Mouritzen Conflicts in the Municipal Organization

Are conflicts in the local government organization influenced by structure or functions? The article's answer is that the character of the policy area is decisive, whereas the structure only has marginal effects on the level of conflict. Furthermore, the articles examines the changes in conflicts from the 1980s until the beginning of the 19905. It seems that conflicts between the sectors have diminished. Moreover it seems that the replacement of discretionary to standardized decision principles lessens the administrations' conflicts in relation to the citizens, while in return relations to state authorities are becoming less harmonious.

Morten Balle Hansen The Local Government Management Team

Based on neo-institutional organization sociology, this article analyzes the role of the management team in municipalities. The hypothesis that the management team has changed from a forum for information exchange to a leadership body is analyzed theoretically as well as empirically. Two case studies, from the beginning of the 1980s and the mid 1990s respectively, indicate that the importance of the management team with regard to local government management structure has changed. These empirical observations are linked both to an analysis of the position of the team in the municipal structure and to a historically based analysis of changes in the conditions of the teams' functions during the period between the two case studies.

Lene Anderson and Mogens N. Pedersen Recruitment of Administrative Leaders. An Administrative Elite under Change

On the basis of data material from three studies of the recruitment and background of Danish local government top administrative officers some of the changes in their common profile are discussed. Proposals of how to understand the tendencies found with regard to equality of gender, educational upgrading, and restructuring of career paths are given. Finally, a warning is given against hasty conclusions about the effect of structural changes on patterns of recruitment.

Side 380

Niels Ejersbo The Political and Administrative Organization in Local Government - a Study in Local Variation

The article analyzes the development of local government committee and administration structures and reveals that the changes have shattered the common, structural picture of local governments. Local government structures can no longer be described by just a few models. The second part of the article discusses the reasons for changes in administrative structures on the basis of economic conditions in the municipalities as well as changes in the mayoral and chief executive officer positions. It is it shown that these conditions do not contribute essentially to the understanding of why administrative changes take place.

Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen The Micro-Cosmos of Local Politics

Local government research has a considerable comparative potential.. However, as is pointed out in this general discussion of the articles in the present issue it is only exploited to a limited extent. Together the analyses cover important aspects of Danish local politics and administration. Still, the conclusions drawn in them could have been

enriched by a more systematic use of theoretical and empirical insights from other fields of political science. This emphasizes the risk that local government research give undue attention to the field by itself at the expense of local government's potential as a field for empirical research for political scientists with varying specialization and analytical interests.

Jesper Due, Jørgen Steen Madsen and Søren Kaj Andersen Diversification and Convergence between Public and Private Labour Market Relations

The article focuses on a comparison af industrial relations in the public and the private sector on the basis of the Anglo-American "Industrial relations"-tradition. It seems there are marked differences in the conditions when it comes to the regulation of the labour market in the two main sectors. At the same time there are signs indication a convergence between the industrial relations in the public and the private sector. Hence the new tendenscies to restructure the public sector. In this way the article is both a theoretical and empirical testing of the relevance of the IR-tradition in the case of the analysis of the public sector.

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