chapter  7
18 Pages

Mind-sets and mental silos

Rise and fall of simple switches
WithLouis Meuleman

This chapter argues that complex policy challenges like the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals require systemic thinking, a comprehensive approach (taking into account all relevant aspects) and also a holistic view. These requirements are in rather sharp contrast with the general governance recipes the New Public Management movement has ‘infected’ public sector organizations with across the world. The chapter presents a critical account of several New Public Management ‘mantras’: the use of best practices, the slogan ‘less is more’, the focus on evidence-based policy making, the label ‘better regulation’ where it implies only ‘less regulation’, the promotion of public-private partnerships with the public dominated by the private part, and the call for ‘breaking down the silos’ where this leads to an institutional desert, and finally, the call for focus, for specialization, to the detriment of holistic thinking.