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Open access

Marie Jelínková

Abstract

Along with other Central and Eastern European counties, Czechia has invested significant effort in deterring refugees from entering the country during the ‘refugee crisis’. This article sheds light on the role of the media in legitimising anti-refugee policies by analysing the politicised discourse on refugees in 900 articles published in Czech newspapers between 2014 and 2016. The findings indicate that refugees were depicted as a security threat and an administrative burden partly imposed by the European Union. The article discusses the policy implications of depicting refugees in this way and thus broadens the literature on European narratives during the refugee emergency in Europe.

Open access

Pär Magnus Olausson

Abstract

Modern society has developed a growing dependence on electricity in order to carry out important societal functions. This implies the risk of cascading failures to society in the case of power shortage. The creation of a resilient and sustainable power energy system is therefore crucial. Equal crucial is the preparedness for the event of power shortage. As a part of the Swedish crisis management system, the Swedish Energy Agency (EM) has developed a planning system, STYREL, to identify social important objects in order to ensure important social functions in the case of power shortage. This article examines STYREL as a policy network and as a planning system to ensure a sustainable and resilient power supply. The study focus on the design of the system, the implementation of the system based on the results from the two rounds completed in 2010 and 2014. Using interviews with coordinators at the local and regional level in three counties and a survey including all 21 coordinators at the regional level, it indicates that the design of the planning system reviles opportunities for improvements of the planning system. The study also indicates that the coordinators at the local level lack trust in the planning system depending on both the lack of resource and the lack of feedback. This in turn indicates challenges for the system from a resilient and sustainability point of view.

Open access

Marta Postuła and Jacek Tomkiewicz

Abstract

This article focuses on the effects of corrections to the budgetary policy in eurozone economies. The goal of the text is to check if advancement in implementing modern tools of public management is helpful in the time of fiscal adjustment. We assume that the most important role of a performance approach in conducting fiscal policy is the ability of government to implement active policy meant as structural changes in the composition of public expenditures. In the case of the need to cut general levels of public spending, public sector managers who have knowledge of performance effects of public policies should be able to conduct fiscal adjustment in such a way as to minimise negative outcomes of spending correction on society. The structure of the text is as follows. First, we present some insights on the economic effects of fiscal adjustment. Then, we discuss the concept of performance management presented in the theory and policy agendas of international institutions such as the European Union or the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Finally, we present the result of an empirical exercise that is designed to combine the level of advancement in implementing performance budgeting (PB) and the social cost of fiscal adjustment in eurozone economies. The most important finding of the research is that PB tools seem to have very limited usefulness in a time of fiscal adjustment. There is no statistical evidence that countries advanced in utilisation of PB tools conduct more active fiscal policy – approach of cutting all expenditures across the border by given percentage rather than looking at priorities and social outcomes of fiscal adjustment dominates in all cases.

Open access

Pavel Kotlík

Abstract

Technology roadmaps have become an essential part of the European Commission’s (EC) nanotechnology policy strategies. They represent socio-technical landscapes and evolving pathways, suggesting the underlying or otherwise supportive metaphorical patterns and narrative structures. For the same reason, however, roadmaps are problematic assemblages: they can simplify and distort reality, and filter things that don’t fit. The presented study combines cognitive linguistics with narratology to scrutinise the European Commission’s nanotechnology roadmapping as a discursive formation. It targets the systematic metaphors in approximately two-hundred news and reports on nanotechnology, compiled ad hoc from the CORDIS database (between the years 1999–2015). It is argued that the identified metaphors correspond to a discourse topology of ‘locations’, ‘events’, and their structures, especially as regards to the dilemma of ‘path dependence’, overcoming ‘knowledge gaps’, and reaching ‘nanoworld’. These are accompanied by a narrative climax of developing mature science policy model, in the arrangement of actions and roles for the European governments, science (nanotechnology), policy, and the public. The study demonstrates how systematic metaphors engage all the actors in the narrative of ‘innovation journey’ to form stabilised structures of meaning, that is, spatio-temporal consolidation of nanotechnology policy. It is imperative to continuously assess the context of such consolidation, being less overt but not necessarily less effective, in privileging some meanings, interests, and practices over the others, thereby excluding other political alternatives.

Open access

Ringa Raudla, Aleksandrs Cepilovs, Rainer Kattel and Linda Sutt

Abstract

Our paper explores how a rule prescribed by the European Union can bring about changes in the policy discourse of a member state. Drawing on the literatures of discursive institutionalism and Europeanization, the theoretical part discusses the factors that influence discursive shifts. The empirical part examines the discursive impacts of the introduction of the structural budget deficit rule, required by the Fiscal Compact, in Estonia and Latvia. It demonstrates how the discursive shifts have been shaped by the localized translations offered by civil servants, the entrance of additional actors to the policy-making arena, crisis experience, and the strategic interests of policy actors.

Open access

Ondřej Hora

Abstract

In this article, we evaluate ‘Professional traineeships for young people up to 30 years’, an active labour market policy measure implemented in the Czech Republic. Professional traineeships were one of the possibilities for suitable offer to young people within Youth Guarantee in the Czech Republic in 2014 and 2015. First, we conducted a process evaluation (document analysis and interviews) to uncover the design and implementation aspects of the program. Next, we followed the counterfactual impact evaluation approach towards the estimate of returns to unemployment (competing risk analysis) based on individual administration data from public employment services. We have found that professional traineeships were successful in attracting the interest of both young people and employers. Mainly young people with middle and high level education have entered the program. Most of them have been provided with on-the-job subsidies in the private sector. When considering the impact of the program on the unemployment of participants and a control group, it was shown that after two years, the measure was effective only for young people with long pre-program Employment Office registration. When we consider the reasons for leaving Employment Office registration, the measure seems to be more effective, since many young people in the control group left the Employment Office register in favour of options that were outside of the labour market.

Open access

Michal Sedlačko and Katarína Staroňová

Abstract

In the Slovak Republic, a number of internal ministerial advisory bodies, intended to provide high-quality analyses and evidence based policy making for national policy, have been established over the last two years. We have studied how the rational technocratic model of scientific policy advice as a specific mode of governing, acted out through these new institutional sites of expertise, survives in a highly politicised environment of the Slovak public administration. Central to our study was the reconstruction of an intersubjective account central to the work of organising on which the analytical centres and their staff, as well as their patrons, participate. Complementary to this, we focused on intersubjectively shared elements of the analysts’ community and subculture within the dominant CEE public administration culture. The vision of governing with expertise shared by analytical centres rests on the principles of transparency, orientation on professional merit (primarily econometric, analytical skills), voluntarism, conflict avoidance, political opportunism and institutional autonomy. Analytical centres identify themselves as a distinct professional group – in fact, they form a distinct organisational subculture around traits such as demographic characteristics (predominantly young males with economic or mathematical/IT background), symbols, hierarchies, working culture, humour, as well as artefacts. Analysts see their mission in the provision of impartial, objective analytical evidence for informed decision making, yet they negotiate the boundary between politics and expertise on a daily basis, and, as we found, in numerous aspects of analysts’ work politics cannot be entirely bracketed.