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Measuring New Public Management and Governance in Political Debate


Giovanni Fattore is associate professor of health care and public management at Bocconi University (Policy Analysis and Public Management Department), Italy. Previously, he was research officer at the London School of Economics. His research focuses on health policy and public management reforms. He holds a degree in economics from Bocconi University and did postgraduate studies at the Harvard School of Public Health and the London School of Economics.

Hans F. W. Dubois is a research officer at the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) in Dublin. Previously, he was assistant professor at Kozminski University in Warsaw and worked with the European Observatory for Health Systems and Policies in Madrid. He holds a doctorate in business administration and management from Bocconi University and studied economics and medical biology at the University of Amsterdam.

Antonio Lapenta is an economist and public management specialist. He holds a doctorate in health care management and economics from Magna Græcia University of Catanzaro, Italy, and has conducted training and research for the Public Management Department at Bocconi University from 2004 to 2008. He served as strategic advisor to the Bolivian Health Minister for the creation of a National Health System. He is currently an international consultant and advisor for government institutions.


New Public Management (NPM) recently has been compared and contrasted with public governance (PG) to illustrate shifts in conceptions of public administrations and in reform agendas. The authors develop measures to capture the relevance of NPM and PG in textual discourse and investigate the extent to which they have entered the political debate. Content analysis of electoral programs for the 2005 Italian regional elections reveals that even in this legalistic country, considerable attention was paid to both NPM and PG issues. An important explanatory variable in preference for NPM or PG is party ideology, highlighting often-ignored within-country dynamics. Furthermore, the authors show how a methodological approach adapted from mainly political science and business research can be exploited in the field of public administration.