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Through the Looking-Glass: What Does Strategic Planning Reveal in French Local Governments?

  • Laura Carmouze
  • Solange HernandezEmail author
  • Sarah Serval
Chapter
Part of the Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)

Abstract

This chapter aims to investigate why and how strategic planning takes place in the French local public administration.

The first part of the chapter starts by informing the French national context through the administrative system, the legal framework, the cultural and political factors, and the reform process. Recently, the state has undertaken a wave of reforms that has deeply redefined the institutional landscape and led to a reinforcement of the region-metropole coupling in strategic planning. This kind of collaboration is actually imposed by the national state and refers to a top-down approach. The regional and metropole levels have no other choice than to collaborate. In that sense, we observe “a recentralization movement of decentralization”. These reforms are led by a cost-cutting logic and tend to implement a rationalising process. It also promotes a multi-level strategic decision-making process and an increasing influence of the civil society. In other words, we assume that the recent legal framework of local strategic planning is mainly influenced by the New Public Management (NPM) and New Public Governance (NPG) paradigms. To investigate this assumption and provide new insights into why and how local authorities implement strategic planning activities, we undertook an empirical research.

The second part of the chapter aims to present the results of a research done on local authorities regarding the strategic planning process. Mixed methods were used for a more comprehensive understanding of the situation.

The third part of the chapter confirms that local strategic planning is influenced by NPM and NPG paradigms. It also provides new insights into and a deeper understanding of the process and practices used to implement local strategic planning. Our qualitative findings reveal the implicit logics behind such strategic activities. Finally, the discussion sheds light on the local ideologies and institutional changes that shape local strategic planning in the French context.

Keywords

Local strategic planning New Public Management New Public Governance Metropolises Collaboration Ideologies 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Carmouze
    • 1
  • Solange Hernandez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Serval
    • 1
  1. 1.Aix Marseille UniversitéUniversité de ToulonCERGAM, IMPGT, Aix-en-ProvenceFrance

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