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Varieties of Austerity$
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Heather Whiteside, Stephen McBride, and Bryan Evans

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781529212242

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529212242.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Transforming the Public Sector

Transforming the Public Sector

(p.81) 4 Transforming the Public Sector
Varieties of Austerity

Heather Whiteside

Stephen McBride

Bryan M. Evans

Policy Press

This chapter historicizes post-2008 reforms by summarizing the New Public Management (NPM) ideals and forms of public sector restructuring that first began to emerge in the 1980s. This is then followed by national snapshots of state restructuring up to 2008 and the relevant austerity packages implicating the public sector (employment and programmes) after 2008. While each country has its own story to tell, several varieties of austerity in relation to public sector restructuring after the global financial crisis are discernible. Austerity-era transformations within the public sector involved new institutions forcing restructuring, exposing many public sector workers but insulating a few areas (primarily those responsible for economic decision making and associated with privatization), along with the insinuation of public sector flaws inherent to NPM ideology. Some of the negative effects of these strategies became glaringly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords:   public sector, post-2008 reforms, New Public Management, public sector restructuring, state restructuring, austerity packages, global financial crisis, public sector flaws

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