The panel concentrates on two points : the rationalisation and re organisation of the administrative apparatus on the one and, the exercice of authority on the other. By contrast it leaves aside the important body of work concentrating on the political economy of the state.
The restructuring of state apparatus and administrations is usually intepreted in three ways : in relation to neo liberalism and the diffusion on new public management principles, as an evidence of more long term rationalisation processe, or in relation to new technologies and equipments.Based upon extensive empirical research The papers by Philippe Bezes (CERSA, University Paris II) and Niamh Hardiman (Dublin) will focus on the contradictions of administration restructuring.
This is directly related to the two other papers concentrating on the different ways states exercise authority, again, sometimes in contradictory fashion. Philip Genshel (EUI), Desmond King (Oxford) and Patrick Le Galès (Sciences Po CEE) will develop that side of the argument in their papers.