Gradual change towards re-integration: Insights from local public transport in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPublic Policy and Administration. 2016, 31 (4), 324-341. 10.1177/0952076716634828
Organisational arrangements with increased autonomy from politicians have become common in public service provision in Western countries. Agency deficiencies have been related to accountability and lack of trust, and a debate on re-municipalisation or re-integration of public services is emerging. In this article, we explore what caused the displacement of a local public transport agency in Norway by re-integrating agency tasks in to the public administration. We find two points are particularly especially important in explaining the displacement of the agency. First, powerful veto players that benefit from change, such as new political coalitions and local bus companies, are one driver for change. Second, weak administrative capacity and lack of competence in the county administration open opportunities for change agents who oppose to existing rules. The study also reflects the importance of seeing trust in an institutional context when studying public administration.