From the first, specialization and coordination have presented governments with a conundrum: specialized program might be best for delivering one service to the public, but combining such programs for all public services inevitably produces costly redundancies and inefficiencies. In this long-awaited book, Guy Peters brings his expertise and extensive experience to bear on the problem of administrative and policy coordination. Through theory and four real-world case studies, he explores how--and whether--coordination can transform ordinary, flawed patterns of governing into more effective and efficient performance by the public sector.
This timely work arrives at a moment when coordination is proving especially challenging--as popular approaches to public administration emphasize breaking larger public organizations into smaller, single purpose programs, and as a push to involve the private sector in policy development and implementation has increased government segmentation. For insights into the workings--and limitations--of coordination, or horizontal management, Peters draws on extensive scholarship as well as his own consulting work with governments including Finland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, and Mexico. He highlights practical successes, and failures, of horizontal management in case studies of Homeland Security in the US; child protection in the UK; policymaking in Finland; and the operations of the European Union. In the process, Peters evaluates a full tool chest of "instruments" that might be used to enhance coordination.
Combining theory and practice, and considering a wide range of public policy challenges, this book clearly and cogently presents the most comprehensive, in-depth, and detailed discussion available of policy coordination in the public sector--at a time when its insights are most urgently needed.