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In this article we describe the adoption and execution of public administration reforms in Central and Eastern Europe between 2008 and 2013, as well as examine whether post-communist countries differ from other groups of European countries in terms of the substance of reforms and their implementation process. Instead of following popular Western administrative theoretical frames, we adopt the policy process approach. We focus on the role of policy actors during reform policymaking and implementation at the level of policy subsystems. More specifically, we employ the rational-comprehensive and garbage can perspectives to understand the reform processes in the post-communist region. Our research is based on the statistical analysis of survey data and two case studies of reforms initiated by the 2008-2012 Lithuanian government. The article concludes that countries in Central and Eastern Europe share some common characteristics: they focused on the issues of civil service and public or administrative services, their reform policy was often formulated on a top-down basis, and its execution often lacked adequate capacities. Despite a rational reform façade in these countries, the implementation of governance change appears to be quite erratic, as anticipated in the garbage can perspective. This can have negative consequences on the effectiveness of public policy, continuing to generate public distrust in post-communist state institutions.


The Czech Republic, as many other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, faced and is still facing a pension-reform challenge. The diversification of pension pillars led to the massive displacements of participant contributions from the public PAYG pension pillars to the newly constructed private, defined-contribution, fully-funded pillars. In the Czech Republic, the adoption of the relevant law was preceded by serious political conflict between supporters and opponents of this step (both among different political actors and among professionals). In an analysis of the conflict we critically apply the Advocacy Coalition Framework. We work mainly with the analysis of policy documents, public statements of the individual actors and an analysis of voting on the relevant law in both chambers of the Czech Parliament towards the identification of the crystallization process of two clear-cut coalitions between actors from both sides of the spectrum. The Advocacy Coalition Framework in exploring the dynamics of the public-policy process proved to be able to explain situations where there is sharp political conflict. Through the lens of the devil-shift of both camps (advocacy coalitions with different beliefs), each fell into extreme positions within the coalition to affirm the correctness of their arguments and positions.

at the Workshop on Analytical Communities in Policy Advisory Systems at Global and Local level: Comparative Analysis of Policy Impact, Moskow. Howlett, M. (2009). Policy Analytical Capacity and Evidence-Based Policy-Making: Lessons from Canada. Canadian Public Administration 52(2): 153-75. Ingold, K. (2011). Network Structures within Policy Power, and Brokerage in Swiss Climate Policy. Policy Studies Journal, 39(3):435-459. Jackson-Elmoore, C., Dell, K., Creed, E., and Kearsley, D. (2014). The Gender Influence: Creating Access to the Public Policy Process. Prepared

an alternative to a traditional, rational choice theory based approach concerning policy and regulatory practice. The authors discuss the theoretical and practical origins of the behaviorally informed public interventions (BIPI) and discuss their application and implication for public interventions. They argue that though BIPI cannot be regarded as a “magic wand” that will allow policymakers to change citizen behavior, it is a potentially effective tool to enrich the public policy process and should be seen as another source of fruitful know- ledge to be

. 2014. Statistical Yearbook of Hungary. Budapest: KSH. Nemec, J. and V. Sagat. 2011. “Performance Management in CEE: What can we Learn from Existing Experience ?” Paper presented at the 2011 ECPR General Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, 25 - 27 August 2011. Available at (last accessed 30 June 2015). Staronova, K. 2009. “Better Regulation and Regulatory Quality: The Case of RIA in Slovakia.” Sociológia 41(3), 247 - 264. Staronova, K. 2006. The Public Policy Process: Implementation of the

press.)‘What do diploma theses unveil about academic public policy in the Czech Republic?’, Central European Journal of Public Policy. Henderson, M., & Chetkovich, C. (2006). Sectors and skills: career trajectories and training needs of MPP students. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 20(2), 193. Hill, M.J. (1997) The Policy Process in the Modern State (3rd edn), London: Prentice Hall. Hill, M.J. (2005) The public policy process (4th edn), New York: Pearson Longman. Hogwood, B. & Gunn, L. (1984) Policy analysis for the real world, London: Oxford University Press

public policy design and implementation, applicable widely for all or most policy areas, is still missing. The main focus of public policy studies, that is classified as a subsection of a wider discipline of political sciences ( Cairney, 2013 ), has long been how to explain public policy processes and their outputs in the form of particular policy instruments. Researchers in this political science subfield study the formation, the processes and developments of public policy-making and public policy change, and aim to clarify why particular public policy approaches

the criteria of sustainability. It is beyond any doubt that the third sector in the non-democratic Belaru- sian state is weak and there are limited possibilities and incentives for lay people (vs. elected and/or appointed officials) to participate in the public policy process18. The third sector has apparent difficulties establishing organizations and generating autonomous projects in Belarus. The non-democratic regime restricts and violates human rights, represses civic initiatives, discourages public interest in social life and, as a result, limits the

cannot be solved, or solved easily, by single organizations’. Bingham et al. (2005) and Bingham and O'Leary (2015) stress the nexus between the public and private sector, combining the concepts of collaborative public management and participatory governance to describe and explain the increasing volume of public policy processes involving collaboration, with mostly successful outcomes. This influential body of work can perhaps be seen as representative of US scholarship, which tends to emphasize the external dimension of collaboration rather than internal (within