Market, State and Morality

Licentiate thesis. Faculty of Arts and Sciences Thesis No. 122.

Author(s): Johan Wennström
Year: 2017Pages: 41Publisher: Linköping UniversityCity: Linköping
ISBN: 978-91-7685-523-2 (print)

Market, State and Morality Johan Wennström

The bulk of the literature on the New Public Management (NPM) has been blind to the moral dimension of the market-oriented reforms of the public sector. However, this thesis studies the potential for institutional arrangements such as financial incentives and other market mechanisms to undermine intrinsic, moral motivation among both“producers” and “consumers” of tax-financed welfare services.


The first paper demonstrates how the promotion of NPM-like ideas by various left-wing and right-wing agents after 1968 led to the erosion of a professional ethos among Swedish teachers. The second paper shows how an ill-conceived school voucher reform in Sweden, implemented under the banner of NPM, has encouraged moral hazard on the part of schools. The thesis demonstrates an ecumenism between the left and right that with few exceptions has been overlooked in political science. It also demonstrates that public administration systems that have adopted market-oriented reforms need morality in order to function in accordance with the principles underlying these institutions.

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Wennström, Johan (2017), Market, State and Morality. Licensiate Dissertation in Political Science. Linköping Studies in Arts and Science Thesis No. 122. Linköping: Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University.

Johan Wennström


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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