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Paradoxes of Modernization – Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Paradoxes of Modernization: Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform

Helen Margetts, Perri 6, and Christopher Hood


This book explores the unintended and unanticipated effects associated with ‘modernization’ projects and tackles the key question that they provoke: Why do policy-makers persist in such enterprises in the face of evidence that they tend to fail? The book first discusses what is meant by ‘modernization’ and ‘unintended consequences’, placing public policy reform within more general intellectual and social trends. It presents eight case study ‘modernization’ projects. Their architects promised faster trains, a more efficient and reactive health service, a more motivated public service, better pe ... More

Keywords: modernization, projects, policy‐makers, unintended consequences, public policy reform, local government

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199573547
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573547.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Helen Margetts, editor
Professor of Society and the Internet, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
Author Webpage

Perri 6, editor
Professor of Social Policy, Graduate School, College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University

Christopher Hood, editor
Gladstone Professor of Government and Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford
Author Webpage

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I Understanding Modernization's Paradoxes

1 The Drive to Modernize

Christopher Hood, Helen Margetts, Perri 6

II Societal Innovations

4 Ranking US Public Affairs Educational Programmes

H. George Frederickson and Edmund C. Stazyk

5 Et in Arcadia Ego

Jeanette Hofmann

6 Happy Surprises?

Yorick Wilks

III State‐Centred Reforms

IV Modernization of the State

11 What if Public Management Reform Actually Works?

George Boyne, Oliver James, Peter John, Nicolai Petrovsky

V Conclusion

12 Modernization, Balance, and Variety

Helen Margetts, Perri 6, and Christopher Hood

End Matter