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  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Guardians of Public Value

How Public Organisations Become and Remain Institutions

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Narrates the histories of a dozen high-profile pubic organisations from across the world

  • Analyzes how over time these organisations have become highly values 'institutions'

  • Suggests leadership lessons for institution builders

  • Offers an array of teachable case studies about successful organisations fit for classroom use

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. Guardians of Public Value: How Public Organizations Become and Remain Institutions

    • Arjen Boin, Lauren A. Fahy, Paul ‘t Hart
    Pages 1-35Open Access
  3. The Election Commission of India: Guardian of Democracy

    • Amit Ahuja, Susan Ostermann
    Pages 37-62Open Access
  4. The BBC: Guardian of Public Understanding

    • Jean Seaton
    Pages 87-110Open Access
  5. Sweden’s Riksbank: Guardian of Monetary Integrity

    • Johannes Lindvall
    Pages 111-134Open Access
  6. The European Court of Justice: Guardian of European Integration

    • Arjen Boin, Susanne K. Schmidt
    Pages 135-159Open Access
  7. The World Anti-Doping Agency: Guardian of Elite Sport’s Credibility

    • Maarten van Bottenburg, Arnout Geeraert, Olivier de Hon
    Pages 185-210Open Access
  8. CERN: Guardian of the Human Aspiration to Understand the Universe

    • Jos Engelen, Paul ‘t Hart
    Pages 211-235Open Access
  9. Rijkswaterstaat: Guardian of the Dutch Delta

    • Margo van den Brink
    Pages 237-261Open Access
  10. Médecins Sans Frontières: Guardian of Humanitarian Values

    • Liesbet Heyse, Valeska Korff
    Pages 263-293Open Access
  11. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Guardian of Climate Science

    • Eric Paglia, Charles Parker
    Pages 295-321Open Access
  12. The ACCC: Guardian of Viable Markets and Consumer Rights

    • Amanda Smullen, Catherine Clutton
    Pages 323-346Open Access
  13. Back Matter

    Pages 347-353

About this book

This open access book presents case studies of twelve organisations which the public have come to view as institutions. From the BBC to Doctors Without Borders, from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra to CERN, this volume examines how some organisations rise to prominence and remain in high public esteem through changing and challenging times. It builds upon the scholarly tradition of institutional scholarship pioneered by Philip Selznick, and highlights common themes in the stories of these highly diverse organizations; demonstrating how leadership, learning, and luck all play a role in becoming and remaining an institution. This case study format makes this volume ideal for classroom use and practitioners alike. In an era where public institutions are increasingly under threat, this volume offers concrete lessons for contemporary organisation leaders.


  • Public Organizations
  • Public Value
  • Open Access
  • Leadership
  • Institutional Reform
  • International Organizations
  • Institutional Adaptation
  • Institution-building
  • Election Commission of India
  • Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB)
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • The Riksbank
  • The European Court of Justice (ECJ)
  • The Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • WADA
  • The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
  • Rijkswaterstaat
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

    Arjen Boin

  • School of Governance, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Lauren A. Fahy, Paul 't Hart

About the editors

Arjen Boin is Professor of Public Institutions and Governance at the Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Netherlands. Arjen has studied all sorts of public institutions, how they are formed, how they function, how they are preserved and how they grow old.

Paul ‘t Hart is Professor of Public Administration at the Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, Netherlands. Paul currently leads the ERC Advanced Grant program Successful Public Governance which examines the dynamics and lessons of successful public policies, organizations and collaborations.

Lauren A. Fahy is a PhD Fellow at the Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, Netherlands. She studies successful public organizations as part of the Successful Public Governance program.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)