Panel 1: Critical junctures for or against change?

Panel 1: Critical junctures for or against change? The impact of contemporary economic and political crises on public administration reform in Central and Eastern Europe

Chaired by: dr. Giselle Bosse (UM) & dr. Veronica Junjan (UT) &

The aim of the panel is to explore and reflect on the politics and governance of administrative reform in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in times of political and economic crisis, such as the global economic crisis after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the crisis of liberal democracy and liberal democracy promotion, climate change or (un)sustainable development. A special emphasis is placed on the effects of the recent Eurozone crisis as a ‘critical juncture’ triggering (or stalling) administrative reform in CEE. Besides examining the direct effects of political and economic crises on administrative reforms, we aim to explore how the recent crises have impacted on (i) the ability (and legitimacy) of external - and especially European - forces in driving administrative reforms (e.g. Grabbe 2001, Lippert, Umbach and Wessels 2001, Goetz 2001) and (ii) the effectiveness of the mechanisms through which administrative reforms can be stimulated by external actors , external governance (e.g. Lavenex 2008, Lavenex and Schimmelfennig 2009, Raik 2006) and/or governmentality structures (Walters 2012). At the same time, we aim to draw attention to the impact of recent political and economic crises on domestic actors and structures, such as bureaucratic politics, institutional constraints or legacies of the communist regime, in administrative reforms in Eastern Europe (e.g. Meyer-Sahling 2001, Vaas 1999, Grzymala-Busse 2007).

The panel therefore aims to attract papers which examine the impact of political and economic crises on international as well as domestic politics of administrative reform in CEE (and vicinity area). Further we aim to provide a context facilitating the reflection upon the process of administrative reform. The contributions will draw on a mix of methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative analysis, focus groups and discourse analysis. Contributions may offer country-specific or cross-country, issue-based or comparative empirical assessments.