Governance by Targets and Terror: Synecdoche, Gaming and Audit

Pub. Date
20 April, 2005

In the 2000s, governments in the UK, particularly in England, developed a system of governance of public services that combined targets with an element of terror. What are the assumptions underlying this mode of governance and how robust are they?

What does experience with the English NHS performance regime tell us about the vulnerability of targets to gaming and strategic behaviour? Is the system of public service governance over-audited or under-audited Ð or both?

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