Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais
Print version ISSN 0102-6909
REZENDE, Flávio da Cunha. Why do administrative reforms fail ? . Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2002, vol.17, n.50, pp. 123-142. ISSN 0102-6909. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69092002000300008.
Public administrative reform policies are known as typical cases of public policies that frequently will not reach its objectives. Experience has pointed to a continued governmental effort aiming at implementing "new policies" in order to deal with the chronic performance shown by the bureaucratic apparatus. Administrative reforms are formulated and quickly discontinued, modified, or simply abandoned. The international literature recognizes and provides a wide range of explanations for such phenomenon. This article provides an additional explanation, focused on the impossibility of cooperation between the strategic components for such fiscal adjust and the institutional change. We also discuss how such phenomenon has happened when implementing the administrative reform by the Federal Administration and State Reform Ministry in Brazil from 1995 and 1998. The analysis reveals that such Ministry (MARE) has found cooperation from the strategic components at the innermost bureaucracy for the fiscal adjust while the institutional change has not gotten the same success. Such differential support has taken MARE to its extinction and to the later transformation of the State reform policy four years after its creation. This case shows clearly such argument and proposes, based on the permanent failure theory, an explanation on how the administrative reforms have represented sequential failure cases, particularly the administrative reforms from the 1990's, which centered in the "cost less and work better" idea.
Keywords : Administrative Reforms; Public Policies; Public Policies Implementing.