The centre strikes back: Meta-governance, delegation, and the core executive in the United Kingdom, 2010-14

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Dommett, K. ; Flinders, M. (2015)
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

A growing literature on 'agencification', 'quangocratization', and the 'autonomization' of the state has highlighted a coordination dilemma in contemporary public governance whereby governments rely on delegated governance but are frustrated by the lack of control that arises from such structures. In the run-up to the 2010 General Election in the United Kingdom this coordination dilemma was prominent as the capacity of the Cabinet Office to exert control over arm's-length bodies, either directly or indirectly, received intense criticism. This article presents the findings of the first detailed research project to examine the subsequent Coalition Government's approach to this dilemma. It argues that in relation to the governance of public bodies, the role and capacity of the Cabinet Office has been transformed. In mapping this development the article explores the implications of the centre striking back in the context of 'post-New Public Management' reforms.
  • References (3)

    OECD. 2002. Distributed Public Governance Paris: OECD.

    Rutter, J., R. Malley., A. Noonan and W. Knighton. 2012. It Takes Two . London: Institute for Government.

    Verhoest, K., S. Van Thiel., G. Bouckaert and P. Laegreid. 2011. Government Agencies: Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries. London: Palgrave.

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