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Steering the British state - emerging patterns of governance and the public service agreement framework.

Matthews, Felicity Mary (2008) Steering the British state - emerging patterns of governance and the public service agreement framework. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This PhD is about state capacity in the context of evolving governance structures: the capacity of the state to deliver. Focusing upon the governance debate and its many cleavages, the thesis explores the extent to which the British state has been affected by many of the challenges to its capacity that underpin theories of governance, such as hollowing-out and fragmentation. Within this, it will determine whether the Labour government (1997-2007) has actively recognised and responded to these perceived challenges in order to preserve its central steering capacity. Conducting the first major analysis to date of the Public Service Agreement framework, the thesis concludes that the policy landscape is increasingly characterised by complexity and inter-connectedness, as multiple stakeholders across a range of geo-political jurisdictions are engaged in the policy process at all junctures. Nonetheless, despite the picture of a hollow state painted in many accounts of governance, the government has retained an inherent resource advantage, which has enabled it to redefine its role and preserve its centrality. Accordingly, the government has sought to adopt the role of 'primary organiser' within the policy landscape, defining the parameters of stakeholder engagement, which it then polices in accordance with its ultimate political responsibility for service delivery.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Politics (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.489388
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 13:49
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 13:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21811

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