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Three Reforms on Three Similar Originally Administrations: United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. From the Welfare State to Privateness Dogma

Guillermo Martín

Towards the end of the 70, State's organizations begin to be identified -much more than what old conservatism had said- as dinosaurs in the Alicia's wonderful country.

Till then, the meaning of "public administration" was conceived from the perspective of its purpose, to be destined to the application of rights and to guarantee the existence of values -as democracy, responsibility, equity and probity-, and it only secondarily included efficacy. Slowly, it was migrating towards the meaning of "public management", under the influence of some American universities.

When extraordinary changes have taken place in the societies, the change of their institutions can be predicted. During the mentioned years, numerous problems influenced many countries' societies. They smoothed the confidence in the previous model and raised the value of other alternatives.

The substitute paradigm to the Welfare State expanded as religious recipe. Why a conceptual change tending to introduce efficient instruments to give response to citizen needs, reflected in New Public Management's theories, has reached a deified condition. The axis of this work is to interpret how a new theory became "Olympic torch" in its universal walk, trying to differentiate theory, from its manipulation.

It is about proving how each of three geographically remote societies democratically decided to orientate themselves towards different directions, using the same ideas as justifying, to shape future societies with different characteristics; which were some of their effects, their risks and from them, which might reach other societies.

A careful comparison leads us to understanding common denominators and different conducts: a) only the pragmatism explains that reforms would have been applied by conservatives in two of three countries, whereas in the third one they were done by liberals; b) in spite of the initial popular support, the subsequent social perception of reforms' effects politically ruined their executors; c) all three economies have stirred into action after the drastic clippings; d) it is verified the principle of action and reaction for these social phenomena happened in democratic societies; e) financial globalization is a phenomenon with still opened, substantive consequences for these societies (up to the moment the reforms brought "fiscal sovereignty", better external profile and competitiveness); f) the conservative revolution was politically victorious, as much as socially unfair; g) from all three compared reforms, Canada reform is the least spectacular, with minor social costs and risks.

Today still exists blindness on the model's "unwanted" effects. More economy, little spill, the rich becoming richer and bad income distribution, societies subject to the volatility of the global financial capital, minimization of the physical assets' proportional price, recessive crisis' iteration will make return to new neokeynesians' approaches.

It is an absurd situation that a way of linking public investment with concrete effects has served as world antisocialist formula. But this is the fact, because the confusion between means and purposes, methods and doctrine, is not patrimony of these last two decades of the history. Contradicting to the more dogmatic liberal offers, it does not seem to be only one solution to the administration of the public thing, at any moment and circumstance.

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