Changing Patterns of Governance in the United Kingdom: by D. Marsh, D. Richards, M. Smith

By D. Marsh, D. Richards, M. Smith

This is the 1st accomplished exam of the altering relatives among ministers and civil servants for the reason that 1979. in response to an unique account of energy inside of vital executive and drawing on proof compiled from over 100 and fifty interviews, this publication offers unheard of perception into the area of Whitehall. in addition to exploring the impression of eighteen years of Conservative govt, the authors additionally research the exterior pressures exerted by way of components equivalent to the ecu Union. They finish by means of arguing that, regardless of fresh claims in regards to the finish of the Whitehall version, a few of the previous beneficial properties of the British process stay. certainly, March, Richards and Smith reveal that departments stay key associations within the policymaking process.

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Extra info for Changing Patterns of Governance in the United Kingdom: Reinventing Whitehall?

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This conceptualisation emphasises that unintended consequences of past actions can constrain actions in the future. As such, organisational culture explains how ‘symbolic orders sustain the forms of domination’ in the ‘everyday context of lived experience’. It is through an organisation’s ‘political image’ which is ‘composed of deeply embedded master structures’ that ‘the organisation’s, or subgroup’s, political self-definition … embody the rules that guide political actions and the chronic political habits that are mindlessly enacted’ (Riley 1983: 418).

The Whitehall culture prizes loyalty to ministers, whilst the department culture usually prizes loyalty to the department, except in the private office where loyalty to the minister vis-à-vis the department is the overriding precept of action. Thus, the existence of these competing sub-cultures creates ambiguities that allow for subversions and conflicts. What is constant in the clashing cultures is the adherence to the general Whitehall culture at the elite levels and the process of insulation which it creates.

Generally, officials are culturally bound to be loyal. But loyalty is offered in exchange for trust and involvement and, because Benn excluded and distrusted his officials, and as he did not abide by their rules, they withdrew their loyalty. As another former DTI official, later a Permanent Secretary admitted: Whereas other ideological ministers I’ve worked for, not all of them, but certainly some of them, Tebbit and Ridley for example, and also Joseph, were sophisticated enough to see that bureaucrats are not against ministers.

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