Public sector reform in Hong Kong and Singapore: Reform trajectories and explanations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

Much of the debate on 'new public management' (NPM) is concerned with its normative superiority, or otherwise, as a model of public sector management over old-style public administration. A growing literature has developed in the West explaining the NPM boom and the political and institutional dynamics behind it. In Asia, the NPM literature is only just beginning to take form. This article adds to this growing 'explanatory' literature by reviewing recent public sector reforms in East Asia (in this case Singapore and Hong Kong). It explores the interface between domestic/national settings and the international NPM trend in terms of the formation of reform strategy and directions; as well as the interaction among major policy actors in NPM policy agenda-setting.
It concludes that the Singapore-Hong Kong model of NPM reform in the 1990s is typical of reforms by bureaucrats for bureaucrats through bureaucrats. The bureaucracy-led reform trajectory followed an agenda that sought to enhance public bureaucratic power and competence rather than to denigrate them. The two city states' administrative-state configuration, sustained by bureaucratic paternalism and institutional legacies, has rendered a bureaucrats-driven reform almost unavoidable. The politics-bureaucrats bargain has been relatively stable and is not seen to be upset by NPM reforms, although most recently such bargain is beginning to undergo readjustment in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2004 EROPA Local Government Center.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic reform, policy change, and new public management: From the Asia and Pacific perspective
EditorsAkira NAKAMURA
Place of PublicationTokyo, Japan
PublisherEROPA Local Government Center
Pages1-28
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Citation

Cheung, A. B. L. (2004). Public sector reform in Hong Kong and Singapore: Reform trajectories and explanations. In Akira Nakamura (Ed.), Public reform, policy change, and new public management: From the Asia and Pacific perspective (pp. 1-28). Tokyo, Japan: EROPA Local Government Center.

Keywords

  • Alt. title: 香港とシンガポールにおける公共部門改革:改革の軌跡と説明

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Public sector reform in Hong Kong and Singapore: Reform trajectories and explanations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.