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Sobis, Iwona
Publications (10 of 13) Show all publications
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. S. (2010). Restoring Professionalism: What Can Public Administration Learn from Social Psychology?. In: Juraj Nemec, B. Guy Peters (Ed.), State and Administration in a Changing World: Selected Papers from the 17th NISPAcee Annual Conference. Paper presented at The 17th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2009, “State and Administration in a Changing World”, 14-16 May, 2009, Budva, Montenegro (pp. 95-125). Bratislava: NISPAcee Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Restoring Professionalism: What Can Public Administration Learn from Social Psychology?
2010 (English)In: State and Administration in a Changing World: Selected Papers from the 17th NISPAcee Annual Conference / [ed] Juraj Nemec, B. Guy Peters, Bratislava: NISPAcee Press , 2010, p. 95-125Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Administrative reform is about changing structures, institutions and about changing the attitudes, motives and work conduct of the people working within those structures. Our previous research (Sobis and De Vries 2008) into the process of technical assistance to governments in CEE countries in transition, during the period 1990-2004, found that the ineffectiveness thereof was due to a combination of problems. We pointed to a combination of contrary objectives among the organisations involved and awkward resource dependencies within the aid-chain, and also to the emergence of a specific kind of attitude among professionals. In public administration, one often thinks that performance measurement, monitoring and evaluations can solve that problem. This approach, however, has proven to have serious negative side effects. The main objective of this paper is to search for alternatives to this approach.

In this paper, we seek these alternatives within the discipline of social psychology. This discipline sees human behaviour as the result of the interaction of mental states and immediate social situations. We will argue that public administration can learn from theories in social psychology and the application thereof to organisational behaviour in the public sector. An application on the technical assistance by western advisors to the governments in CEE countries in transition illustrates the findings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bratislava: NISPAcee Press, 2010
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-4582 (URN)978-80-89013-50-0 (ISBN)80-89013-50-3 (ISBN)
Conference
The 17th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2009, “State and Administration in a Changing World”, 14-16 May, 2009, Budva, Montenegro
Note

Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee)

Available from: 2011-01-18 Created: 2011-01-18 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. S. (2009). Searching for Professionalism: The Provision of Technical Assistance to Local Government in CEE-Countries During their Transition Process. In: K. Staronová & L. Vass (Ed.), Public Policy and Administration: Challenges and Synergies. Selected Papers from the 16th NISPAcee Annual Conference. Paper presented at Public policy and administration : challenges and synergies : selected papers from the 16th NISPAcee Annual Conference, Maj 15-17, 2008, Bratislava, Slovakia (pp. 181-214). NISPAcee Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Searching for Professionalism: The Provision of Technical Assistance to Local Government in CEE-Countries During their Transition Process
2009 (English)In: Public Policy and Administration: Challenges and Synergies. Selected Papers from the 16th NISPAcee Annual Conference / [ed] K. Staronová & L. Vass, NISPAcee Press , 2009, p. 181-214Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NISPAcee Press, 2009
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-4150 (URN)978-80-89013-43-2 (ISBN)
Conference
Public policy and administration : challenges and synergies : selected papers from the 16th NISPAcee Annual Conference, Maj 15-17, 2008, Bratislava, Slovakia
Available from: 2010-06-16 Created: 2010-06-16 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. S. (2009). Technical cooperation within the context of foreign aid: trends for the CEE countries in transition (1991-2004). International Review of Administrative Sciences, 75(4), 565-584
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technical cooperation within the context of foreign aid: trends for the CEE countries in transition (1991-2004)
2009 (English)In: International Review of Administrative Sciences, ISSN 0020-8523, E-ISSN 1461-7226, Vol. 75, no 4, p. 565-584Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates technical assistance (TA) to CEE countries in relation to development aid in general. There is plenty of literature examining the foreign aid, but specific components of aid, like technical assistance, remain largely unexplored. One debate about development aid focuses on whether aid is primarily given to improve the situation in the recipient countries or if this improvement is simply a side-effect from aid based on political-military factors. This article argues that development aid, unlike technical assistance, is often provided based on political-military factors with the accompanying side-effect of improving the situation. To investigate aid money to CEE countries during their transition (1990-2004), we used data from OECD DAC that distinguishes technical assistance as a component of foreign aid. The analysis shows that the foreign aid to CEE countries in general seems to have been largely determined by political factors while the money provided for TA is shown to be especially determined by the recipient countries' needs. The technical assistance has proved to be much more sustainable. The article concludes that empirical research should analyze the components of aid separately.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2009
Keywords
countries in transition, foreign aid, improving governance, technical assistance
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-4581 (URN)10.1177/0020852309351482 (DOI)000273425900002 ()2-s2.0-77949358393 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2011-01-18 Created: 2011-01-18 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. S. (2009). The Story Behind Western Advice to Central Europe During its Transition Period (1ed.). Bratislava: NISPAcee Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Story Behind Western Advice to Central Europe During its Transition Period
2009 (English)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bratislava: NISPAcee Press, 2009. p. 230 Edition: 1
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-3822 (URN)978-80-89013-45-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2010-03-25 Created: 2010-03-25 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. S. (2008). The politics behind aiding administrative reform: Swedish politicians’ views on the technical assistance to CEE countries during their transition process. In: Leadership and management in the public sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Eastern Europe. Paper presented at 15th NISPAcee Annual Conference,"Leadership and Management in the Public Sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Eastern Europe". May 7 - 19, 2007, Kiev, Ukraine (pp. 133-162). NISPASee
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The politics behind aiding administrative reform: Swedish politicians’ views on the technical assistance to CEE countries during their transition process
2008 (English)In: Leadership and management in the public sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Eastern Europe, NISPASee , 2008, p. 133-162Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NISPASee, 2008
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2951 (URN)978-80-89013-36-4 (ISBN)
Conference
15th NISPAcee Annual Conference,"Leadership and Management in the Public Sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Eastern Europe". May 7 - 19, 2007, Kiev, Ukraine
Available from: 2009-04-03 Created: 2009-04-03 Last updated: 2017-11-27
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. (2007). Pawns On A Chessboard: The role of donor organizations during the transition process. In: Post-Communist Public Administration: Restoring Professionalism and Accountability (pp. 189-217). NISPAcee
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pawns On A Chessboard: The role of donor organizations during the transition process
2007 (English)In: Post-Communist Public Administration: Restoring Professionalism and Accountability, NISPAcee , 2007, p. 189-217Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NISPAcee, 2007
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2443 (URN)978-80-89013-30-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-12-08 Created: 2008-12-08 Last updated: 2017-11-27
Sobis, I. & de Vries, M. (2007). The politics behind aiding administrative reform: Swedish politicians’ views on the technical assistance to CEE countries during their transition process. In: 15th NISPAcee Annual Conference “Leadership and Management in the Public Sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Estern Europe.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The politics behind aiding administrative reform: Swedish politicians’ views on the technical assistance to CEE countries during their transition process
2007 (English)In: 15th NISPAcee Annual Conference “Leadership and Management in the Public Sector: Values, Standards and Competencies in Central and Estern Europe, 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Previous research by the authors on the Western assistance to CEE countries during the transition process revealed that it was often ineffective and that priorities in and the nature of aid changed irrespective of negative side-effect on ongoing processes. Recipients blamed foreign advisors for giving inadequate advice; the Swedish foreign advisors pointed to the aid organizations, which did not provide adequate boundary conditions; and the latter told us that it was all politics, decided by consecutive ministers in the Swedish government (Sobis & De Vries, 2004, 2005, 2006, De Vries & Sobis, 2006). This paper is a follow-up on this previous research. In this paper we investigate the motives and reasons behind the assistance programs from the perspective of the Swedish government, which was responsible for this kind of aid. How did Swedish government arrive at decisions regarding the technical assistance to CEE countries and changes therein? The aim of this research is to gain further insight in the explaining factors of the (in)effectiveness of foreign assistance programs. The research question underlying this investigation reads: What were the characteristics of the position of Swedish government with regard to foreign assistance to CEE countries? How did these change during the last 15 years and what were the determining factors explaining these developments? In neo institutional theory two explaining factors are mentioned: the logic of consequentiality and the logic of appropriateness. (March & Olsen, 1989). The research presented in this paper will be framed within this theory. The description of this theory constitutes the first part of the paper. This theoretical part is followed by the presentation of our empirical research. This empirical research is based, firstly, on interviews with the Swedish officials: the Prime Ministers, the representative of Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the representative of Finance Ministry, who were politically active during the years of 1988-1997. Secondly it is based on an analysis of the diaries written by the Swedish officials who were political active during the years 1988-1997, and by some politicians who are still politically active today. Thirdly, it based on an analysis of the Swedish statute-books, government bills, resolutions and reports. The paper concludes on the question which logic (of consequentiality or of appropriateness) was dominant in explaining the decisions made by the Swedish government regarding assistance to CEE countries during the transition process.

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2444 (URN)
Available from: 2008-12-08 Created: 2008-12-08 Last updated: 2017-11-27
De Vries, M. & Sobis, I. (2006). Beyond Blame: Debunking the myths underlying the foreign aid debate. In: 2nd International Conference on Public Management:: 21st Century Oppurtunities and Challenges (pp. 15 s.).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond Blame: Debunking the myths underlying the foreign aid debate
2006 (English)In: 2nd International Conference on Public Management:: 21st Century Oppurtunities and Challenges, 2006, p. 15 s.-Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the transition process in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the post-socialist countries received much support from Western high developed countries in order to improve the effectiveness of their public administrationand to adapt it to the demands given by the EU. Similar as it was with foreign aid for Latin American, African and Asian countries before, this support was, to say the least, not always effective. The question this paper addresses is how to understand such failures. To answer that question we reviewed the literature on the subject of foreign aid. In that literature an increasing radicalism about foreign aid, based on dubious assumptions, is observed. These assumptions are that the quantity of aid as such makes a difference, that nobody in the aid business cares, that optimizing the input, process and output in organizational and managerial terms will almost automatically improve effectiveness, and that there exists a coherent aid industry.

This paper explicates the assumptions, and treats them as hypotheses. The conclusion, based on research into the aid given to CEE-countries during their transition process, is that the hypotheses have to be refuted. The assumptions underlying the debate about foreign aid are one-sided and false

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-1989 (URN)
Available from: 2008-04-18 Created: 2008-04-18 Last updated: 2017-11-27
Sobis, I. & De vries, M. (2006). The Non-implementation of Western Assistance Programmes: The advisor’s point of view. Chapter in Implementation. In: Implementation: The missing link in public administration reform in central and eastern Europe (pp. 65-90). NISPAcee
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Non-implementation of Western Assistance Programmes: The advisor’s point of view. Chapter in Implementation
2006 (English)In: Implementation: The missing link in public administration reform in central and eastern Europe, NISPAcee , 2006, p. 65-90Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NISPAcee, 2006
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-1848 (URN)80-89013-24-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2007-10-12 Created: 2007-10-12 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved
Schuller, B.-J. & Sobis, I. (2005). The Lisbon Strategy and European International Competitiveness in a Gender Perspective: Are economies with higher ambitions for female equality performing better?. In: Mölle 2005: the 7th Annual SNEE European integration conference. Paper presented at The 7th Annual Conference on European Integration, Mölle, May 24-27, 2005, organized by the Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE). Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Lisbon Strategy and European International Competitiveness in a Gender Perspective: Are economies with higher ambitions for female equality performing better?
2005 (English)In: Mölle 2005: the 7th Annual SNEE European integration conference, Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE) , 2005Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

At least according to the Swedish public debate, men and women are not treated equally. There are differences in income, employment, unemployment, carrier possibilities, but even in education opportunities, especially post graduate studies, and in medical treatment, which cannot be explained. Though one should be careful to use the expression of discrimination, when people of different sex or ethnic background are treated differently, it seems that at least in Sweden - and probably even in other European countries – income differences cannot be explained with differences in labour productivity. Therefore our first conclusion is that discrimination is existing, that people with different sex and different ethnic background are treated differently. Gary Becker, in his Economics of Discrimination, has discussed, how discrimination is influencing among other aspects the total economy, e.g. expressed in GDP (in constant prices). Based on Becker we would expect that discrimination influences the total economy negatively. In this paper, we are investigating, whether we can see signs of female discrimination, i.e. we are excluding ethnic aspects. Furthermore, we are investigating the relation or relations between female discrimination and macroeconomic performance, expressed as growth, employment, price stability, GDPpc and net exports. Macroeconomic performance will be expressed by an index. If female discrimination in Europe is existing and influences macroeconomic performance negatively, this has important implication for the Lisbon agenda, which aims at making the EU the “... the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy,...capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”. If female discrimination influences macroeconomic performance negatively, and if there is female discrimination in post graduate education, then female discrimination makes it more difficult to achieve the goals of the Lisbon agenda.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE), 2005
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-1635 (URN)
Conference
The 7th Annual Conference on European Integration, Mölle, May 24-27, 2005, organized by the Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE)
Available from: 2007-08-03 Created: 2007-08-03 Last updated: 2017-11-27
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