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Blair and Governance


Rhodes, RAW, Blair and Governance, Public Governance and Leadership: Political and Managerial Problems in Making Public Governance Changes the Driver for Re-Constituting Leadership, Deutscher Universitats-Verlag, J Dixon and R Koch (ed), Wiesbaden, pp. 95-116. ISBN 9783835001763 (2007) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2007 Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden

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There is much talk of a ‘Blair Presidency’. Although people are not always clear about the meaning of this expression, it commonly refers to the centralisation of power on the prime minister and his office at No. 10 Downing Street. However, even as people tell tales of a centralised Blair presidency, they also tell stories of fragmented British governance; of the unintended consequences and failures of policy making. This chapter explores the paradox between presidential claims and governance failure. It is an exploration of the limits to public leadership.

The first section of the paper establishes that journalists, practitioners and academics talk of a Blair presidency. The second section outlines the governance narrative, introducing the ideas of policy networks, governance with and through networks, core executive, and the hollowing out of the state. The third section applies these ideas to a review of policy making under Blair. I distinguish between policy audits that identify the gap between policy aims and outcomes and policy critique that places such fault-finding in a broader, historical perspective. Finally, I comment on the implications of this analysis for the study of public leadership.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Tony Blair, British governance, presidency, public leadership
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Comparative government and politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Rhodes, RAW (Professor Rod Rhodes)
ID Code:58469
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2009-10-07
Last Modified:2013-03-14

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