Patrick Dunleavy

Hating the state – and exploiting the shock

The 2008-11 economic crisis has dramatically increased the role of the (nation) state, which re-emerged as the inescapable mainstay of liberal capitalism and the rescuer of last resort for the weak global policy system, which crumbled into ineffectuality when the chips were down. But equally rapidly a strong aversive reaction to state dependency has emerged on both sides of […]

Falling back on the (nation) state – and hating it

The 2008 global financial crisis unexpectedly thrust the nation state back to the centre of political and economic decision-making, and left much-vaunted global policy institutions struggling ineffectually. Yet Patrick Dunleavy argues that the huge government interventions triggered by the collapse of the economic ‘boom’ years have now very quickly sparked perverse efforts to deny that these events happened. […]

The anatomy of a service delivery disaster: how the UK’s tax agency goofed up. And what it means to one of their ‘customers'

As a country Britain has spent billions of pounds on modernizing its public services, but often with very poor results. Patrick Dunleavy looks at the current debacle at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over massive amounts of uncollected tax. Examining a single case in detail, he shows how the crisis of service delivery was entirely of the department’s own […]

Book Review: Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present

Patrick Dunleavy reviews a fascinating, but flawed, history of democratic thinking from an American perspective. It throws often unexpected light on democratic innovations through the ages; and if the government’s project to slice the UK electorate up into equal constituencies is your bag, you can get stuck in here.

George G. Szpiro, Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato […]

The Green report on procurement efficiency is an indictment of governance structures across Whitehall

Sir Phillip Green’s report to the PM on government procurement looks thin and is underwhelming in citing evidence. Yet Patrick Dunleavy argues that its key weaknesses essentially reflect the very poor state of the civil service’s budgetary and costs information. After two decades of ‘new public management’, Whitehall is light years away from the modern organization architectures of the […]

More on zombie ‘new public management’ – solutions to avoid obsolescent governance ideas wrecking the coalition government’s programme

Responding to critics of his blog yesterday, Patrick Dunleavy outlines the policy alternatives that are open to the government and that could help ministers to steer clear of the self-created and avoidable problems of ‘zombie new public management’.

In his shrewd comment Greg Fisher concedes that the analysis may be right, but asks what constructive advice does it […]

What is the Cameron-Clegg governance strategy? Zombie ‘new public management’ cannot work in the face of massive public expenditure cutbacks

Ministers can never achieve public service reform by acting on their own. Every reforming government needs dependable allies inside the government sector that it can rely upon for help in implementing its programme. Yet with the close of the party conference season Patrick Dunleavy finds the coalition government strangely bereft of anything approaching a statecraft that might see them […]

The Tory honeymoon dulls, Labour revives even without a leader and the Liberal Democrats are teetering on a precipice – the State of the Parties in September 2010

As political trends snap into sharp focus next week with the crowning of the new Labour leader, the party is already level-pegging with the Conservatives again, and the edge has for the moment gone off the Tories’ poll ratings. Meanwhile Patrick Dunleavy and Chris Gilson find that Liberal Democrat support has halved and the party would face electoral extinction […]