Joined-Up Government in The Netherlands: Experiences with Program Ministries
Over the last 15 years there have been many experiments with joined-up (also known as whole of) government practices, aimed at horizontal coordination to overcome the fragmentation of vertical governmental structures due to departmentalism and New Public Management. These practices were initiated to address wicked problems and to better interact with society at large. Now that there are signs that the rhetoric of joined-up government is winding down and many joined-up government developments are being dismantled, it is time to evaluate this approach. This is especially appropriate as some suggest that the overall impact of these developments may be relatively small, despite (overly) optimistic claims made in the past. In this article we take experiences with joined-up government in the Netherlands as the departing point for a critical discussion of this approach. By comparing the Dutch experiences with those in other countries, we will draw a picture of the challenges and dilemmas of horizontal coordination in the vertical world of government.
Author: Philip Karré, Martijn van de Steen en Mark van Twist
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