Bringing Structures Back In: the 'Governance Narrative', the 'Decentred Approach' and 'Asymmetrical Network Governance' in the Education and Sport Policy Communities

M Goodwin, Jonathan Grix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We reflect upon the 'governance narrative' as a means of conceptualizing recent developments in the British state. Recent public administration research has advocated a 'decentred approach' that would reject the linear narrative of a shift from hierarchical to network governance. We seek to build on 'decentring' theorists' critique of existing governance literature by offering case studies of the education and sport policy communities, arguing that the 'new' governance form is present in these sectors, but only as an element of a state strategy, the effect of which is to reduce autonomy and increase dependence on the centre among actors outside the core executive. We use the case studies to reflect back on the utility of the decentred approach and suggest that the range of questions it might tackle could be expanded by allowing for a greater role for structures and institutions in explanation, alongside the ideas, culture and belief of actors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-556
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Administration
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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