CFP: EGPA PSG V on Regional and Local Government on “Post NPM-reforms under the impact of austerity”

Dear colleagues,

May we ask your attention for the following meeting of the EGPA PSG V on Regional and Local Government on “Post NPM-reforms under the impact of austerity”.
This meeting will take place from the 8th until the 12th of September 2014 in Speyer, Germany.

To this meeting, we invite papers addressing questions such as:
(1) How have local governments reorganised internally and externally after the passing of NPM as a predominant reform ideology and the increasing financial pressures on their role? For example, have local governments moved away from a traditional (Weberian) departmental structure to one based on a commissioner-provider split, external service provision and contracting-out or rather re-integrated/insourced services into the departments?
(2) To what extent have local governments sought to ‘innovate’ in response to NPM-shortcomings and new fiscal pressures? Has austerity involved incentives to innovation and what form have these innovations taken?
(3) To what extent have local NPM-guided reforms been adjusted or cut back due to a malfunctioning of managerial instruments? Here in particular, issues of coordination, strategic control and steering could be addressed.
(4) To what extent have external (fiscal, demographic etc.) pressures triggered reforms directed at territorial and/or functional re-scaling (mergers, cooperation bodies, reallocation of tasks between levels of government)?
(5) How have local and regional governments responded both organisationally, and in their inter-governmental role, to these pressures? Has ‘regional centralism’ characterized regional-local relationships or have the regional levels collaborated with the local governments?
(6) How have central or federal governments responded? For example, have they tightened controls over local governments, given local governments more freedom but fewer resources or used performance management systems in different ways?

We are particularly keen to welcome papers which seek to deliver empirical, research-based arguments and build a theoretical understanding of these issues even if based on a single country. They might also pursue a comparative approach, be it “over time”, “cross-countries” or “cross-policies”.

We welcome abstracts (1 page maximum) to address any of the issues/questions mentioned above. Abstracts should be sent no later than 15 May 2014 to the three conveners of this EGPA Study Group (see below) and be submitted online via . Notification of acceptance will be no later than 1 June 2014. Those authors whose abstracts have been accepted should dispatch their paper to the convenors as well as to Fabienne Maron ( by 5 August 2014 at the latest.

The collaboration with the COST Action IS 1207 “Local Public Sector Reforms: an International Comparison – LocRef” is one of the strategic objectives of the Permanent Study Group V for the period 2014-2017. The research topics and the participating scholars of PSG V and LocRef show many overlaps. Therefore the close collaboration of the two networks promises a multitude of synergies and mutual enrichments. LocRef is an EU-funded international research network on local public sector reforms with more than 100 senior and early stage researchers in 29 countries chaired by Sabine Kuhlmann (Action Chair) and Geert Bouckaert (Vice-Chair); Martin Laffin and Ellen Wayenberg are Chairs/Co-Chairs of LocRef Working Groups; many LocRef members are also PSGV members. LocRef brings together researchers and practitioners of all stages of local public sector reforms in order to jointly assess the hitherto scattered and dispersed information bases on local public sector reforms, to generate new comparative knowledge, and develop policy-relevant frameworks for the design of future modernization processes in Europe. The collaboration between PSG V and LocRef includes, inter alia, joint workshops and conferences PhD training schools, high level seminars, short term scientific missions for PSG-members (research stays for scholars in partner institutions), joint publications and policy papers. For further information refer to:;

This year’s meeting of PSG V is also meant to explore opportunities for a possible joint COST-PSGV-publication. The thematic sessions will be structured correspondingly.

For more information on the 2014 EGPA Annual Conference in Speyer, Germany, please visit

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With kind regards,
Ellen Wayenberg, Ghent University, Belgium
Sabine Kuhlmann, University of Potsdam, Germany
Martin Laffin, Queen Mary University of London – UK
(PSG V Convenors)

Met vriendelijke groeten,
With kind regards,

Professor Dr. Ellen Wayenberg
Universiteit Gent – Faculteit Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen
Ghent University – Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Henleykaai 84 – G013
B-9000 Gent
Tel: ++32 (0)9/243 29 27
Fax: ++32 (0)9/243 29 09