Book News: December 16th, 2002

RAW Rhodes, P Carmichael, J McMillan and A Massey.This book assesses the UK’s changing civil service in the wake of two decades of public sector management reforms and New Labour’s constitutional reform programme, most notably devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The authors explore two controversial propositions. First they ask if Britain is moving from the unitary, strong executive of the ‘Westminster’ model to a differentiated policy characterized by institutional fragmentation. Second, they consider whether an unintended consequence of recent changes is a ‘hollowing out of the state’. Is the British executive losing functions downwards to devolved governments and special purpose bodies and outwards to regional offices and agencies with a resulting loss of central capacity.

Published by Open University Press   ISBN 0 335 21234 4. Price 22.50 pounds