The role of the 'centre' in public service reform

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Amongst his many interests in public administration, the practical and challenging task of implementing and evaluating public service reform has been a consistent feature of the oeuvre of research over Richard Boyle’s career (cf. Boyle and Joyce 1988; Boyle and Lemaire 1999; Boyle 2004; Boyle and MacCarthaigh 2011; Boyle 2016). In this article, the focus is on the role played by the ‘centre’ in public service reform both conceptually and in practice. The chapter first considers what is meant by the centre in Irish political-administrative life, before reflecting on how we might understand different forms of public sector reform governance and then applying them to the Irish case. The centre-led reforms that occurred between the 1960s up to the late-2000s are reviewed, before more recent efforts from 2011 up to the present are presented. A final section summaries the contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


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