The British Regulatory State: High Modernism and Hyper-Innovation

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For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, British government was among the most stable in the advanced industrial world. In the last three decades, the governing arrangements have been in turmoil and the country has been a pioneer in economic reform and public sector change. In his major new book, Michael Moran examines and explains the contrast between these two epochs. What turned Britain into a laboratory of political innovation? Britain became a formal democracy at the start of the twentieth century but the practice of government remained oligarchic. From the 1970s this oligarchy collapsed under the pressure of economic crisis. The British regulatory state is being constructed in its place. Moran challenges the prevailing view that this new state is liberal or decentralizing. Instead he argues that it is a new, threatening kind of interventionist state which is colonizing, dominating, and centralizing hitherto independent domains of civil society. The book is essential reading for all those interested in British political development and in the nature and impact of regulation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The contribution of the book goes beyond applying sociocultural lenses to an examination of the relationship between regulators and regulatees. Its interpretation and exploration of within-government control in terms of regulation opens a new agenda for public administration research. In addition, it invites readers to broaden their thinking about regulation beyond the narrow contexts of privatization and government-business relationships. Last, by showing variance in regulation of different sectors within the same country, it questions the simplistic tendencies to think of regulation in terms of coherent national styles and of overarching and global trends."—Comparative Politics

"Drawing on experienced scholarly observation, Michael Moran has written a strikingly critical evaluation of Britian's recent development of state regulatory authority.... His context is impressively comparative, notably with respect to the United States, and he makes good use of a considerable body of relevant American scholarly literature. Moreover, he is well aware of the impact of globalization and Europeanization.... The book's brevity... does not diminish the significance of the author's richly suggestive, interesting, and cogent thesis."—Perspectives on Politics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199247578
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: From Stagnation to Hyper-Innovation 1
2 Images of the Regulatory State 12
3 Creating Club Regulation 38
4 Transforming Self-Regulation 67
5 Regulating Privatization 95
6 Regulating and Colonizing Public Worlds 124
7 From Stagnation to Fiasco: the Age of the Regulatory State 155
Notes 184
References 205
Index 231
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