Management and management policies in Lusophone countries: Critical perspectives on the New Public Management and post-bureaucracy in education

Almerindo Janela Afonso, Geovana Mendonça Lunardi Mendes


In recent decades, the New Public Management has achieved a central role. This centrality, among other things, is translated by the incorporation and implementation of the business rationale and private management in public institutions and organizations. Many sectorial reforms have followed these principles, some of which have been implemented in the redefinition of the role of the State and in changes in the procedures of public administration. Also, it induced other changes in the modes of social regulation in the context of the increasing internationalization of capitalism. Following these changes, the obsession (often more rhetorical than real) with the effectiveness and efficiency of the State is now understood in the framework of a post-bureaucratic rationality. However, the new rationality was little mobilized in the following texts, as happened with hyper bureaucracy—contrary to the wish this dossier’s editors. This observation does not fail to reveal that the ideology of the New Public Management is still the hegemonic reference in the field of research and reflection in the field of social and education sciences. Nevertheless, from our point of view what comes as most striking in the contributions that follow is that many of the promises of the different versions of the New Public Management ideology have either not been fulfilled or were only partially achieved, representing the compelling criticism to the ideology summarized in the idea that managing is very different than governing. In conclusion, this dossier aims, among other aspects and in different Lusophony national contexts, to analyze reforms and public education policies (with a predominance of administration and management, evaluation and accountability, privatization and marketization), that implicit or explicitly, assume, to varying degrees of critical deepening and/ or theoretical-conceptual and empirical support, some of the assumptions mentioned above, which the authors chose to prioritize.


New Public Management; Administration and Management; Educational Policy


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Copyright (c) 2019 Almerindo Janela Afonso, Geovana Mendonça Lunardi Mendes


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