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Crisis and Sustainability: Responses from Different Positions

14th Annual Conference of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Sofia, 7-8 October 2011

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Edited By George Chobanov and Jürgen Plöhn

The volume contains an editorial and nine contributions to the proceedings of the 14 th international conference of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Sofia University. The first part reflects on the persistent monetary, fiscal and economic crisis in the EU and other OECD countries. The second part deals with specific answers to economic challenges by municipalities and enterprises, treating clusters, NPM and M&A. In a broad sense, the third part is dedicated to sustainable development, including a theoretical, a predominantly political and a practice oriented contribution. The articles are written by authors from five nations: Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the USA. In the background of each position, there is a certain national tradition; the authors use theoretical as well as empirical approaches. The volume encompasses ten figures and eleven tables.

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CHAPTER TWO: STUDIES ON EUROPEAN ECONOMIES AND POLICY AREAS

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BEYOND STATE AND MARKET: TOWARDS A PARTICIPATED GOVERNANCE OF LOCAL PUBLIC UTILITIES? LUCA BARTOCCI / FRANCESCA PICCIAIA (UNIVERSITY OF PERUGIA, ITALY) 1. Introduction The search for a new way of organizing the public sector is a significant problem for many countries, especially in light of the current crisis, which poses the need to provide satisfactory levels of public services in compliance with a condition of financial sustainability. This need for renewal must be inserted in a stage in which the transi- tion to a new model of public administration had already begun at least in the theoretical debate: the long period inspired by New Public Man- agement (NPM) seems to be at an end, that is why conceptual models are now focusing on the need to establish a new relationship with civil socie- ty and citizens, no longer considered as mere customers. Many “labels” are used today (Public Governance, Collaborative Governance, Commu- nity Governance, New Public Service, Public Value Management, just to name the most common). They all focus on the search for a new narra- tive of the relationship between “public” and “private”. Supposing that it is actually possible to talk of a new post-managerial era, the need of the civil society for an accountable public administration and the need of citizens to play a central role are still meaningful in the heritage of the NPM. This is the context where the two central ideas of this work developed: the recovery of an “old” concept of democratic systems, that...

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