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‘Sub-contracting the public administration of water in South Africa: The metamorphosis of a policy network’, by Magalie Bourblanc in Gouvernement et action publique.

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Magalie Bourblanc published the article ‘Sub-contracting the public administration of water in South Africa: The metamorphosis of a policy network‘ in Gouvernement et action publique.

The role of consultants in South African water resource management is a striking phenomenon that pertains to all aspects of the policy-making process. At first sight, the outsourcing phenomenon seems to directly stem from the implementation of New Public Management reform in the post-Apartheid period. Yet, our socio-historical analysis of the State “at work” shows that this outsourcing phenomenon is actually part of the Department of Water Affairs’ institutional culture which, since the 1960s, has featured a tradition of collaboration with civil engineering consulting companies. Indeed, this interdependence is so great that it is fair to claim that the Department’s officials and engineer consultants belong to a common policy network that, through history, has been reshaping the frontiers between the public and the private. We examine the transformations of this policy network over time, stressing the influence of political factors on the evolution of the water policy configuration at various stages.

Read the whole article here: https://www.cairn.info/revue-gouvernement-et-action-publique-2018-2-p-75.htm