Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Mark Sandford
    Signing up to devolution: the prevalence of contract over governance in English devolution policy
    in Regional and Federal Studies , Volume 27, Issue 1 ,  2017 ,  63-82
    Initial analyses of the ‘devolution deals’ that form the cornerstone of current efforts to devolve power within England assess the policy against conventional governance criteria: accountability, transparency, and the quality of governance systems. In fact, English devolution policy has little connection with territorial governance. Instead, it closely resembles a contractual process, with central government determining the terms on which it will outsource specified programmes and projects to local governments, complete with requirements for ‘business readiness’, implementation plans, evaluation requirements, and future joint working. Accountability, governance and even geography take second place to the aim of improving central policy outcomes via a contract-style relationship. This perspective is styled ‘post-territorial devolution’: it accounts more effectively for the shape of the policy so far than traditional governance perspectives, which are often laced with normative positions.
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