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The State as Cultural Practice$
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Mark Bevir and R. A. W. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580750

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580750.001.0001

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Managerial Rationalities

Managerial Rationalities

(p.136) Chapter 7 Managerial Rationalities
The State as Cultural Practice

Mark Bevir (Contributor Webpage)

R. A. W. Rhodes (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 examines the rationalities or technologies used by government, specifically the rationality associated with the new public management, or managerialism, with its emphasis on targets and performance measurement. It decentres the Blair government's putative reforms of a central feature of the British state as understood by Westminster elites, notably the civil service. It tells three stories about the civil service and public service delivery. First, there is the centralization story, which claims the changes sought to increase the power of the Prime Minister at the expense of Cabinet and the Departments. Second, there is the management story, which claims the reforms of the civil service foundered on Blair's lack of policy making and management skills. Finally, there is the governance story, which argues the Prime Minister is locked into webs of dependence that undermined his initiatives.

Keywords:   rationalities, Blair, prime minister, civil service reform, narrative, centralization, managerialism, governance

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