Joined-up government: rational administration or bureaucratic politics?

Moseley, Alice (2009) Joined-up government: rational administration or bureaucratic politics? In, Public Administration Committee Annual Conference, Pontypridd, UK, 07 - 09 Sep 2009.


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Joined-up government is often viewed as a remedy for coordination
problems arising in the complex multi-organisational terrain of contemporary public
services. Governments extol the virtues of formal coordination mechanisms as tools
of joined-up government, both locally and centrally. Such policy exhortations
conceive of joined-up government from a rational-administrative perspective which
implies that actors adopt coordination mechanisms as a functional response to
systemic problems. This paper explores the rationale behind the selection of
coordination mechanisms from the perspective of policy actors at different levels of
government, using evidence from a recent study of joined-up government in the field
of homelessness. It is argued that decisions about joining-up are the outcome of
strategic and instrumental moves between actors, with each pursuing their own
organisational interests and the outcome favouring the most powerful, motivations
that are better encapsulated by a bureaucratic politics model. Key aspects dominating
collaborative decision-making include prioritisation of, and a desire to protect
resources for, agencies’ and departments’ own client groups; the greater ability of the
most powerful actors to gain the cooperation of other bodies in order to advance their
own organisational agendas; and the adoption of coordination mechanisms to reduce
risk and maintain organisational survival

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 71217
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:02

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