Paradoxes of Modernization Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform

by Helen (Professor of Society and the Internet, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford) Margetts

Paradoxes of Modernization Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform Synopsis

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? Paradoxes of Modernization 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 performing local government, enhanced information for prospective US university students, reduced rates of child malnutrition in developing countries, and a free, open, safe, interconnected cyberspace for people to conduct their social and political life. Each case provides a neat story with a paradox that varies the modernization theme and tackles the question: why was the project pursued? The conclusion categorizes the cases in terms of their outcome, from success to disappointment, and suggests some strategies for a more balanced version of modernization for current and future policy-makers.

Paradoxes of Modernization Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform Press Reviews

highly relevant to the modern complex world of evidence-based policy and joined up government. It provides a valuable contribution to the field. * Andrew Steven Gunn, Political Studies Review *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780199573547
Publication date: 17th June 2010
Author: Helen (Professor of Society and the Internet, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford) Margetts
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 292 pages
Categories: Public administration, Central government policies,

About Helen (Professor of Society and the Internet, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford) Margetts

Helen Margetts is Professor of Society and the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and Fellow of Mansfield College, University of Oxford, before which she was Director of the School of Public Policy at UCL. A political scientist specialising in politics and government on the Internet, she has authored and co-authored a wide range of books and articles as well as a series of policy reports for the National Audit Office, including (with Patrick Dunleavy and others) Digital-era Governance (Oxford University Press, 2006); (with Christopher Hood) Tools of Government in the Digital Age (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); and Government on the Internet (...

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