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Title: Crises, consensus, and conviction : the core executive and the institutionalisation of British efficiency reforms
Author: Trani, Brett
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 4560
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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In the aftermath of the 2008 economic recession, governments across the globe were forced to confront a difficult reality: growth and spending would need to be revised dramatically downward while central government systems would have to be made more efficient. In the United Kingdom specifically, the 2010 general election became a referendum on how quickly and severely to implement austerity policies the likes of which had not been seen for generations. Why did the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition choose austerity when other alternatives, such as a public sector stimulus package, were also available? To answer this question this research seeks to understand how and why political actors in the United Kingdom respond to economic and political crises through the implementation of specific efficiency reforms. This is accomplished through two specific steps: the establishment of an analytical framework to better understand the dynamics of efficiency reforms and an in-depth study of the historical development of efficiency reforms from the early twentieth century through the present. A historical institutionalist theoretical foundation is employed in order to understand the evolution of ideas throughout this time span. A thorough understanding of institutional effects, including aspects of lock-in effects and process tracing, are essential components of understanding why powerful political actors choose certain efficiency reforms over others. Ultimately, this research is meant as a first step towards a greater understanding of efficiency in government. Previous research has examined specific reforms in relative isolation without the benefit of historical context. By systematically tracing the evolution of efficiency reforms across different eras a more complete understanding of policies and political actors is established. Further research, including comparative studies across political systems and the incorporation of quantitative date, is discussed in the conclusion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Government spending policy ; Economic policy