Did they ‘Read before burning’? The Coalition and quangos


Attitudes to quangos are paradoxical. On the one hand they are perceived to be undemocratic, unaccountable organisations, while on the other they are seen to improve effectiveness, limit political interference and increase public confidence in government. This paradox is reflected in the behaviour of political parties, which generally adopt a harsh line towards quangos in opposition, but come to rely on these bodies in office. Ahead of the 2010 general election it was, however, noticeable that the Conservative party rejected this dynamic by promising to pursue ‘a more sophisticated approach’. This article explores the Coalition government's subsequent ‘public bodies reform programme’, assessing its progress against recommendations contained within the Institute for Government's Read before Burning report of July 2010. It concludes that while the Coalition has addressed long-standing concerns about the day-to-day governance of public bodies, it has failed to resolve a set of broader and strategic (metagovernance) issues.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12072
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Policy
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Dommett, K., Flinders, M., Skelcher, C., & Tonkiss, K. (2014). Did they ‘Read before burning’? The Coalition and quangos. Political quarterly, 85(2), 133–142, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12072. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Uncontrolled Keywords: quangos,governance,democracy,accountability,control,failure
Publication ISSN: 1467-923X
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 08:08
Date Deposited: 27 May 2015 13:40
Full Text Link: http://onlineli ... .12072/abstract
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2014-04
Authors: Dommett, Katharine
Flinders, Matthew
Skelcher, Chris
Tonkiss, Katherine (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0671-3357)



Version: Accepted Version

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