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Local Government and Public Procurement: Organizational Trends and the Rise of New Bureaucrats in Sweden
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Politics and History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4820-278X
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Climate and Safety (from 2013). (Centrum för klimat och Säkerhet)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5356-4112
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

 Swedish local government play a central role in welfare production and in handling environmental issues at large. In addition, they also plan the physical use of land and water areas within its territory. Accordingly, Swedish local government are crucial actors in driving sustainable development. During the last decades reform of local government has been taking place under the umbrella of New Public Management (NPM) following a pattern seen in most parts of the world entailing market inspired logics and values that subsumes political and democratic ambitions and tasks. The political rationalities underpinning NPM continues to exist and are well researched. There are, however, significant gaps. In particular, of studies concerning the politics of public procurement. In this paper we present an analysis where public procurement is understood more broadly, as a governmental technology, an instrument of governing associated with the rationalities of marketization and competition that continues to be more or less unquestioned as virtues in contemporary society. We assume that as such a technology it is not a neutral tool, but rather designed to realize particular understandings of how to govern and with what effects. The case we present is based on interviews with civil servants, consultants and politicians working with public procurement in Swedish local government. With the perceptions of our respondents as a base, we construct a narrative where three themes emerge as important: public procurement expansion; organizational change and centralization, and: the procurer as bureaucrat. We conclude that the importance and scope of public procurement within the larger local government organization has rapidly expanded, public procurement has been centralized and, perhaps most importantly, we witness the emergence of a new bureaucrat representing values not compatible with traditional Weberian understandings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69522OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-69522DiVA, id: diva2:1253991
Conference
Statsvetenskapliga förbundets årsmöte, 2018 (SWEPSA 2018) Malmö University on October 3-5.
Projects
Procurement for Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment (ProcSIBE)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 254-2013-1837Available from: 2018-10-08 Created: 2018-10-08 Last updated: 2019-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Öjehag-Pettersson, AndreasGranberg, Mikael

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