The problem of letting go: The â€˜Big Societyâ€™, accountable governance and â€˜the curse of the decentralizing ministerâ€™
While clear lines of accountability are normally considered a sine qua non of any modern democracy, this article argues that too much accountability can be as problematic as too little. Through the application of a number of analytical â€˜hooksâ€™ drawn from the accountability studies literature, it argues that if the coalition governmentâ€™s rhetorical commitment to a shift from a â€˜Big Stateâ€™ to a â€˜Big Societyâ€™ is implemented, it may well flounder due to its inability to reconcile the centrifugal forces of devolution and localism with the centripetal forces of political accountability and public expectation. Indeed, without a more aggressive, sophisticated and indeed honest approach to accountability, the â€˜Big Societyâ€™ is unwittingly likely to forge an even â€˜Bigger Stateâ€™.
Volume (Year): 26 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (December)
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