Organised by Higher Education Research Group
Public administration reforms are usually interpreted according to the assumption of new public management (NPM) and post-NPM adoption. Misaligned countries are simplistically labelled as lagging behind in NPM implementation. Recent studies have questioned this interpretation and suggested that neo-Weberian paradigm helps to interpret reforms in countries lagging behind. However, a holistic perspective on the policy instruments portfolio is needed to assess the underlying reform paradigm. This viewpoint has not yet been developed in most policy fields. This article addresses this gap by taking the field of higher education as the analytical context. First, we deducted how neo-Weberian principles unfold in terms of choice and use of a well-rounded neo-Weberian policy instruments portfolio. Second, we tested adoption in the Italian country case study, which was already compared to the neo-Weberian ideal. The Italian higher education system matches most deducted neo-Weberian policy instruments.