QoG lunch seminar with Pétur Berg Matthíasson


Towards a Joined-Up Government in Iceland: The Role of the Centre of Government in Overcoming Wicked Challenges in the 21st Century: (case: Iceland Public Sector Reforms 2009-2021)

29 May 2024
12:00 - 13:00
Stora Skansen (room B336), Sprängkullsgatan 19

Pétur Berg Matthíasson, PhD student of Political Science / Public Administration, University of Iceland
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The QoG institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions.

All seminars are held in English unless stated otherwise.
The Quality of Government Institute (QoG)


In this seminar, I will discuss my research project centred around the dynamics of public sector reforms, sparked by the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis in Iceland. The Icelandic Government responded with a profound overhaul, embracing the Joined-up Government approach to public governance. My exploration aims to untangle the intricacies of implementing extensive changes in public administration, particularly when navigating the challenge of harmonizing new priorities with rooted traditions and cultural norms, such as segmented government, ministerial autonomy, and siloism.  The seminar will begin with a concise overview of the Icelandic Public Administration, providing insights into its historical landscape and past reform activities. Subsequently, I will provide an overview of my research, clarifying the main research questions and hypotheses. The focus will extend to the three main objectives: 1) Scrutinizing the motivations driving the government to initiate comprehensive reforms post-crisis. 2) Probing into the strategic approaches adopted for effective implementation, employing a theoretical synthesis of institutional and network governance frameworks. 3) Evaluating the success of the reforms through an exploration of enduring changes, advancements in public services, heightened transparency, advanced working practices, and increased trust.  As my research is currently at a mid-point, I will provide partial results derived from document analysis and a recent survey on public sector reforms.