This article, the final part of the symposium, concentrates on the common characteristics of Southern European states and administrations that can explain the distinctiveness of the reforms there. First, we briefly consider the theoretical aspect of the country papers, that is, historical institutionalism. We then briefly review some common features of contextual factors such as welfare state, economy and civic culture. This is followed by a discussion of some typical characteristics of Southern European administrations: legalism, politicization and clientelism. Finally, we discuss some common features of reform in Southern Europe. Reform in the region encompasses not only new public management; other reforms have also occurred. However, political polarization means these countries lack the stability necessary to implement and carry out reform effectively. In terms of improvement in quality, efficiency and client orientation of public service provision, the far-reaching politicization of the civil service gives a distinctive twist to any such claims. © 2011 The Author. Public Administration,
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Economics

Kickert, W. (2011). Distinctiveness of administrative reform in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Common characteristics of context, administrations and reforms. Public Administration, 89(3), 801–818. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.2010.01862.x