Tag Archives: Germany

The potential side-effects of mediatisation: a case study of the politics of German higher education

Andres Friedrichsmeier & Frank Marcinkowski
Andres Friedrichsmeier & Frank Marcinkowski

By Andres Friedrichsmeier & Frank Marcinkowski

Decision makers, be it in the field of higher education politics or in other fields of public policy making, typically claim to be processing a great deal of information. To a substantial degree, this includes news media information. Nonetheless, the same decision makers also pride themselves on basing their decisions on more reliable grounds than a vacillating media coverage. Almost two decades of public management reforms improved the availability of objective measurements and performance data, and introduced quasi markets to feed in public demands. Matching public expectations no longer necessitates resorting to news media and its representation of a public attention that is skewed by news values. Or is it the other way around? Is the influence of news media on decision making rather on the rise, resulting from an increasing reflexivity of public governance and a related need for direction that is no longer provided by the state? On the face of it, the significance of news media coverage is boosted by a new imperative of marketing the value of public sector outcomes. The need for public marketing results from the use of economic measures in public sector producing qualitative outputs that are difficult to attach a price tag to.

But these new imperatives of going public evaded focus in times of high hopes in the capability of management controls to objectify public sector governance. But they come with potential side-effects. An illustration of the kind of side-effects that are to be expected and of how to investigate them empirically is provided by Andres Friedrichsmeier and Frank Marcinkowski in their Policy & Politics article: The mediatisation of university governance: a theoretical and empirical exploration of some side effects. Continue reading The potential side-effects of mediatisation: a case study of the politics of German higher education

Involving citizens in policy-making – does it vary across countries and why?

Katy Huxley, Rhys Andrews, James Downe, and Valeria Guarneros-Meza
Katy Huxley, Rhys Andrews, James Downe, and Valeria Guarneros-Meza

Katy Huxley, Rhys Andrews, James Downe and Valeria Guarneros-Meza discuss their latest P&P article, Administrative traditions and citizen participation in public policy: a comparative study of France, Germany, the UK and Norway which is free to download throughout September.

Existing research suggests that administrative traditions reflect state-society relations, democratic style and level of centralisation. Four key traditions are reflected within the countries studied, which include the:

  • Napoleonic tradition – characterised by a strong centralised state and antagonism between the state and society (e.g. France)
  • organicist tradition – characterised by a federated state and co-operative state–society relations (e.g. Germany)
  • Anglo-Saxon tradition – characterised by a mixed form of state and pluralist state–society relations (e.g. the UK) and,
  • Scandinavian tradition, which combines the organicist and Anglo-Saxon traditions (e.g. Norway).

In addition, we thought it was important to consider developments in public sector management and reform in different countries and the potential for EU influence in developing citizen participation.

Our results suggest that citizen participation is accorded the least Continue reading Involving citizens in policy-making – does it vary across countries and why?