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In Tagesspiegel op-ed, Kai Wegrich advocates for adaptive administrative reform for Berlin

Instead of groundbreaking reforms, an “intelligent way of muddling through” might be the answer, argues the Dean of Research and Faculty.

Due to long wait times for appointments, outdated working processes and a lack of digitisation, calls for reforming Berlin’s public administration have been around for a long time. While the Berlin Senate and business associations have demanded a fundamental structural reform, Hertie School Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy Kai Wegrich and Martin Lodge, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the London School of Economics, advise against it in a Tagesspiegel op-ed from 18 January.

Instead of big sweeping reforms, they argue for an “intelligent way of muddling through”, or “the strategic and continuous adaptation of measures and solutions in a trial-and-error process”. According to the public administration experts, this process needs to be based on two things: analysing stocktaking and putting Berliners at the centre of administrative processes.

Based on previous reforms at the national and international level, attempts at groundbreaking reform were unsuccessful, generally prone to mistakes, and beneficial more to consultancies than to citizens, write Wegrich and Lodge.

The full article in Tagesspiegel is available (in German).


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More about our expert

  • Kai Wegrich, Dean of Research and Faculty and Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy