Logics, thresholds, strategic power, and the promotion of liberalisation by governments: a case study from British Higher Education


Liberalisation has become an increasingly important policy trend, both in the private and public sectors of advanced industrial economies. This article eschews deterministic accounts of liberalisation by considering why government attempts to institute competition may be successful in some cases and not others. It considers the relative strength of explanations focusing on the institutional context, and on the volume and power of sectoral actors supporting liberalisation. These approaches are applied to two attempts to liberalise, one successful and one unsuccessful, within one sector in one nation – higher education in Britain. Each explanation is seen to have some explanatory power, but none is sufficient to explain why competition was generalised in the one case and not the other. The article counsels the need for scholars of liberalisation to be open to multiple explanations which may require the marshalling of multiple sources and types of evidence.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0952076711407954
Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > Sociology and Policy
Languages & Social Sciences
Languages & Social Sciences > Aston Centre for Europe
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords: liberalisation,policy trend,private sector,public sector,advanced industrial economies,deterministic accounts,competition,higher education,Britain,institutional change,institutional logics,thresholds,Public Administration,Sociology and Political Science
Full Text Link: http://ppa.sage ... ontent/27/4/303
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-10
Published Online Date: 2011-08-04
Accepted Date: 2011-08-04
Authors: Dodds, Anneliese



Version: Accepted Version

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record