Ministers can never achieve public service reform by acting on their own. Every reforming government needs dependable allies inside the government sector that it can rely upon for help in implementing its programme. Yet with the close of the party conference season Patrick Dunleavy finds the coalition government strangely bereft of anything approaching a statecraft that might see them through hard times. So far their approach to governance seems to naively blend ‘new public management’ (NPM) themes from the mid 1990s that were intellectually bust years ago with an austerity drive that directly negates and undermines all the key NPM ideas
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