Governance, Good Governance, and Government:

The Case for Estonian Administrative Capacity


Wolfgang Drechsler


University of Tartu and PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies


Abstract. After a short case study of (Good) Governance in Estonia, this article focuses on one of the key shortcomings in Estonian government, especially after EU accession: the administrative capacity problem. This is intimately linked with the New Public Manage­ment (NPM), upon which, in turn, Good Governance as a world view largely rests. The problems and fate of the NPM paradigm are traced and then applied to the Estonian situation. After outlining the Estonian priorities of following the Lisbon strategy and an Innova­tion-based economic policy, the direction necessary for public administration reform plans, and thus for the enabling of Estonian administrative capacity, is identified.