Reforming the Westminster Model of Agency Governance: Britain and Ireland after the Crisis

Katherine Dommett, Muiris MacCarthaigh, Niamh Hardiman

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Conventional understandings of what the Westminster model implies anticipate reliance on a top-down, hierarchical approach to budgetary accountability, reinforced by a post–New Public Management emphasis on recentralizing administrative capacity. This article, based on a comparative analysis of the experiences of Britain and Ireland, argues that the Westminster model of bureaucratic control and oversight itself has been evolving, hastened in large part due to the global financial crisis. Governments have gained stronger controls over the structures and practices of agencies, but agencies are also key players in securing better governance outcomes. The implication is that the crisis has not seen a return to the archetypal command-and-control model, nor a wholly new implementation of negotiated European-type practices, but rather a new accountability balance between elements of the Westminster system itself that have not previously been well understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-552
Number of pages18
JournalGovernance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

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