Agencification and marketization in Danish and Swedish state administration - patterns of adoption

Morten Balle Hansen, Birgitta Niklasson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution to proceedingpeer-review


We analyze similarities and differences in the adoption of marketization and agencification
practices in state administration in the two Nordic countries: Denmark and Sweden. Based on
a literature review and on contrasting notions of a global management reform movement
enforcing more similarity (Meyer, Boli, Thomas, and Ramirez 1997) and the notion of local
path dependencies and tradition enforcing difference (March 1994; Premfors 1998) we
elaborate hypotheses concerning the adoption of agencification practices in the state agencies
of the two countries. The empirical analysis is based on survey data generated 2008-2009 in
the state administration of the two countries. The survey instrument was largely elaborated
from the COBRA questions (Verhoest 2009).
Our preliminary findings indicate that agencification has been widely adopted in both
countries, while Danish state agencies tend to have adopted significantly more practices
related to marketization than their Swedish equivalents. We discuss the possible
interpretation of our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd World Congress of Political Science July 8th to 12th 2012 in Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 08/07/2012
Publication dateJul 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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