State under Stress Hollow: Can the Hollow State Be Good Government?

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This is a comprehensive account of the changes that have taken place in British government in recent years - since 1979 but, more especially, since 1988. It argues that (and explains why) there has been a general decline in competence and ability to deliver good government. Ministers are increasingly overloaded, their long-standing relationships with civil servants have altered and the power of Parliament has declined. And the machinery of government has been transformed, at one level, by changes in the use of ...
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Overview

This is a comprehensive account of the changes that have taken place in British government in recent years - since 1979 but, more especially, since 1988. It argues that (and explains why) there has been a general decline in competence and ability to deliver good government. Ministers are increasingly overloaded, their long-standing relationships with civil servants have altered and the power of Parliament has declined. And the machinery of government has been transformed, at one level, by changes in the use of Cabinet and at another by privatization, contractorization and the creation of executive agencies. Any new government will find government transformed to a point where most memories of how it used to work in the 1970s are irrelevant. The State Under Stress argues that, while the clock cannot be turned back, urgent reforms are needed if democracy is not to be further undermined.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1 The causes of fiscal crisis 1
2 The politics of fiscal crisis 25
3 New public management examined 43
4 Separating provision from production 63
5 Complete separation: social objectives and regulation of privatization 82
6 Impermanent separation: contractorization 104
7 Decentralization: empowering local communities 126
8 The agency: incomplete separation 147
9 Ministers and agencies: separation as metaphor? 170
10 The role of ministers 195
11 What future for politics? 218
12 Conclusion 244
References 248
Index 262
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