Comparative governance: Prospects and lessons

Mark Bevir*, R. A.W. Rhodes, Patrick Weller

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    73 Citations (Scopus)


    This article revisits the country case studies and seeks to answer two questions. What are the strengths and weaknesses of an interpretive approach? What lessons can we draw from our analysis of public sector reform? To assess an interpretive approach, we discuss: the issues raised in identifying beliefs; the meaning of explanation; how to select traditions; the shift from prediction to informed conjecture and policy advice as storytelling. To assess the lessons, we outline our preferred story of public sector reform. We seek to show that an interpretive approach produces insights for students of public administration. We argue it remains feasible to give policy advice to public sector managers by telling them stories and providing rules of thumb (proverbs) to guide managerial practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-210
    Number of pages20
    JournalPublic Administration
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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