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Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

The decline of patronage in the United Kingdom

matthew_flindersThe number of quasi-autonomous agencies, boards and commissions within British government has grown markedly in the last three decades, provoking anxiety about the re-emergence of a “patronage state.”  In the current issue of Governance, Matthew Flinders challenges the conventional wisdom, arguing that “the recent history of patronage in the UK is a narrative of shrinking reach and diluted permeation.”  This is largely because of the expanding role of the Office of the Commissioner of Public Appointments, a post created in 1995,and the subsequent creation of bodies with similar powers in specific policy fields.  “The creation of OCPA,” says Flinders, “marked the beginning . . . of a period of rapid reform of patronage in the UK.”  Read more: The Politics of Patronage in the United Kingdom: Shrinking Reach and Diluted Permeation, in 22.4 (October 2009).

Written by Governance

October 3, 2009 at 3:21 pm

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