New public service bargain: time for paradigm shift in turbulent times?

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Europe and North America are facing demographic changes with an aging population and declining birth rates. This has implications for the labor market and the workforce of the future. An existential crisis for public institutions is that the public sector is no longer the employer of choice. The public sector is already facing challenges in recruitment, filling vacancies with competent and talented personnel, and retaining public servants. The paradigm shifts in the state from public administration to new public management and new public governance in part underlies this declining interest in public service with the introduction of neo-liberal public sector reforms over the decades, downsizing of the state, relatively lower pay, and various austerity measures. The article revisits these paradigm shifts of the state, providing a review and discussing the impact of these shifts. Furthermore, the article argues for a new paradigm shift. A New Public Service Bargain, which recognizes and values public service because it is the human resource capacity of the state that is key to addressing crises, wicked policy problems and turbulent times.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-100
JournalTransylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023


  • human resources
  • public service bargain
  • talent management
  • new public management
  • new public governance

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