Integrating the Neo Weberian State and Public Value

Ongaro, Edoardo (2024). Integrating the Neo Weberian State and Public Value. International Review of Administrative Sciences (In Press).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00208523241228830

Abstract

Two thematic areas have grown in significance in the contemporary scientific literature in public governance, public administration and public management over the past twenty to thirty years: the theory and practice of Public Value, and the theorisation of the Neo-Weberian State. In this paper, we argue that, while these two important thematic areas have so far developed in a mostly unconnected way from each other, they both might benefit from integrating each other’s perspective into their theoretical frame, and we outline the contours of such framework. We argue that the NWS and Public Value might theoretically be combined in three forms of integration of the respective perspectives, and these are: the integration of the NWS conceived of as model with an approach to Public Value conceived of as addition of value through actions by public managers; the NWS as an ideal-type with Public Value conceived of as addition of value through actions by public managers; and the NWS as ideal-type with Public Value conceived of as contribution to the public sphere. The NWS may benefit from integrating the Public Value perspective in order to develop some of its core components - how it compounds input legitimacy with output legitimacy, and how it integrates the managerial components into a narrative of managerial action for the public purpose. The perspective of Public Value may benefit from engaging into a dialogue with NWS, if it aspires to be a truly global paradigm for managing public services.

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