The contracting out as a problem of organization, administration and policy
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Twenty years into the "great transformation" of local government, time has come to critically review what has indeed been the change in municipalities in terms of regulatory state, "lean" state, contracting out: normative and oversimplistic discourses have permeated the public debate, while questions should be raised concerning the actual implementation and diffusion of reforms, the consistent restructuring of local administrations according to the new tasks at hand, the consequences of implementation - and of restructuring or the lack of it - on local politics and policy. The essay reviews the political science literature which may help study the present state of contracting out in local administrations from three perspectives: organizational theory, public administration, and public policy studies. The literature review is aimed at identifying research questions and strategies, as spelled out in the concluding section of the essay.