Varieties of Legacies: A Critical Review of Public Administration Reform in East Central Europe
Title: Varieties of Legacies: A Critical Review of Public Administration Reform in East Central Europe
Author: MEYER-SAHLING, Jan-Hinrik
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2008/39
This paper examines the status of historical legacies in debates on the reform of public administration in East Central Europe. It identifies limitations of existing accounts and derives three dimensions for the further development of legacy explanations of administrative reform in East Central Europe. First, legacy arguments tend to zoom in on the negative effects of the communist past, yet there is not one but many legacies that matter for post-communist reforms and these many legacies have to be carefully distinguished. Second, legacy explanations tend to search for broad similarities between the administrative past and the present set-up of East Central European administrations in order to demonstrate the importance of the legacy. The identification of similarities is however not sufficient for the identification of legacy effects. Instead, the paper argues in favour of the identification of causal mechanisms of legacification to explain recent administrative developments in East Central Europe. Finally, the paper draws attention to the interaction of legacy effects with other determinants of administrative reform such as European integration and political parties.
Subject: Comparative public administration; administrative reform; historical legacies; causal mechanisms; East Central Europe; communism; post-communism
Type of Access: openAccess