A policy fiasco: The institutional (non-)reform of Czech public employment services in 2011

Miriam Kotrusová, Klára Výborná


The article deals with an institutional reform of public employment services implemented in the Czech Republic in 2011. By merging social benefits administration with employment services into the newly established Labour Office of the Czech Republic, the right-wing government attempted to reduce the staffing and administrative costs of these services and to improve the governance of local labour offices. Using the theoretical concept of “policy fiasco” and taking an interpretive perspective thereon, we analyse these organisational changes in the functioning of public employment services in the Czech Republic. Our data consist of interviews with experts on labour market policy in the Czech Republic and two focus groups with employees of labour offices who had participated in the reform process. We conclude that the institutional reform of public employment services in the Czech Republic in 2011 can be referred to as a policy fiasco in the sense of the theoretical concept used in the work of Bovens and t’Hart (1998).


public employment services, Czech Republic, institutional reform, policy fiasco, interpretive paradigm

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ISSN 1802-4866 | Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences | Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.