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N Generations of Reform in UK Local Government: Compliance and Resistance to Institutional Pressures

Bovaird, Tony and Downe, James Daniel 2006. N Generations of Reform in UK Local Government: Compliance and Resistance to Institutional Pressures. International Public Management Journal 9 (4) , pp. 429-455. 10.1080/10967490601077319

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Abstract

The UK government under the Thatcher administration was one of the first to launch NPM-type reforms. Since then, several generations of reform initiatives can be identified in the UK—including the “quality” initiative under Major, the Blair administration's early emphasis on “Best Value,” followed by its emphasis on targets and inspection, and its recent reconversion to public governance concerns. The UK, then, represents an interesting test case for studying how several generations of reforms co-exist and inter-relate. This article examines the imprint of past reforms in the current drive towards contestability and choice in local government modernization. It argues that coercive isomorphism has been evident in local government but that resistance has been successfully mounted against each generation of reforms, that these resistance efforts have themselves displayed isomorphic tendencies but that, nevertheless, a gradual move towards a mixed economy of provision has emerged in many local authorities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1096-7494
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:22
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/37640

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