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The chapter concludes the book by synthesizing key arguments from previous chapters and making comprehensive arguments about redesigning civil service systems. Previous chapters are examined to question if prior analysis was too optimistic. The chapter discusses processes for advancing the civil service reform agenda, including leveraging small wins to achieve incremental change and aiming for comprehensive reforms. Two examples of navigating comprehensive change, Georgia and South Africa, are discussed. Finally, research surrounding the integration of public service motivation and civil service reform is reviewed. An analysis of systematic programs of field experiments and macro-research about variations in national performance precedes a discussion of the dark side of public service motivation. The chapter concludes with a call for further scholarly scrutiny of public service motivation-related policies to be supplemented with real-world experimentation.
Public expenditure reforms over past decades have reinvigorated states and economies in many countries. A first group of countries already started to reform their public expenditure in the early to mid-1980s, as the negative side effects of high spending, taxes and deficits grew. A second group of reformers followed in the early to mid-1990s. These countries reduced public expenditure significantly as part of comprehensive reform agendas. Reforms focussed on consumption expenditure and the welfare state, and improved economic structures and institutional frameworks. This strengthened public finances, growth and employment. Only a few countries did not reform, and their public expenditure continued to rise strongly. In the 2010s, a third group of countries in Europe started to reform in the context of the global financial crisis. These countries also curtailed expenditure significantly and undertook institutional reform to the benefit of fiscal sustainability, growth and employment.
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