Social Risk of Public Spending Cuts in Scotland: Local Authority Experiences

Darinka Asenova, Matthias Beck

Research output: Working paper


This paper relates to work supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which examines the way Scottish Local Authorities have approached budget cuts (Asenova, et. al., 2013). Starting with a discussion of notions of social risk, we discuss the heightened challenges faced by local authorities. We note that the literature on public sector innovation predict such pressures would cause local authorities to engage in short term decision making and adopt a static coping approach to risk mitigation which is likely to stifle innovation and obstruct the creation of more coherent and resilient localities. Although we find this to have happened in some areas, we discuss two cases where these challenges have promoted innovative and inclusive approaches to service re-design and delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2015


  • Social risk
  • Risk management
  • Innovation
  • Austerity
  • Scotland
  • United Kingdom


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