Westminster, Governance and the Politics of Policy Inaction

‘Do Nothing’

Authors: Barber, Stephen

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  • Examines ‘do nothing’ politics for the first time, setting it in the context of British government policy making
    Comments on the nature of parliamentary opposition to ask how ‘do nothing’ policies can be held to account
    Shows how deciding to do nothing can be the most significant policy of all, and considers future challenges for ‘do nothing’ politicians
                                                                                                                                             

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eBook £39.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-48706-3
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £49.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-48705-6
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About this book

This book shows how political inaction has shaped the politics, economy and society we recognize today, despite the fact that policymakers are incentivised to act and to be seen to act decisively. Politicians make decisions which affect our lives every day but in our combative Westminster system, are usually only held to account for those which change something. But what about decisions to do nothing?  What about policy which is discarded in favour of an alternative? What about opposition for naked political advantage? This book argues that not only is policy inaction an overlooked part of British politics but also that it is just as important as active policy and can have just as significant an impact on society. Addressing the topic for perhaps the first time, it offers a provocative analysis of ‘do nothing’ politics. It shows why politicians are rarely incentivized to do nothing, preferring hyperactivity.  It explores the philosophical and structural drivers of inaction when it happens and highlights the contradictions in behavior. It explains why Attlee and Thatcher enjoyed lasting policy legacies to this day, and considers the nature of opposition and the challenge of holding ‘do nothing’ policy decisions to account.                                                                                                            

About the authors

Stephen Barber is Associate Professor in Public Policy at London South Bank University, UK, where he teaches on its leading Masters in Public Administration programme and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute.  A frequent media commentator, he has published five previous books and numerous scholarly articles.                                                                   

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £39.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-48706-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £49.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-48705-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Westminster, Governance and the Politics of Policy Inaction
Book Subtitle
‘Do Nothing’
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-48706-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-48706-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-48705-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 97
Number of Illustrations
1 illustrations in colour
Topics