In recent studies of public management reform in France, Italy, and Spain inspired by historical institutionalism, the Napoleonic tradition is cast as a causal factor whose overwhelming strength explains how these countries' reforms proceed and finish. This symposium pursues the same research interest in the politics of public management reform and goal of understanding how reforms begin, proceed, and finish in these countries. However, the features of this research project include (1) a focus on instances of public management policymaking, (2) original research on public management reform episodes in each country, and (3) explanatory research arguments that place causation within events. Based on a comparison of explanatory research arguments developed in each case study, the symposium's conclusion extends earlier institutional processualist accounts of causal tendencies of public management policymaking and offers a critique of the historical institutionalist studies mentioned earlier
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