Accountable to whom? Data transparency, depoliticisation and the myth of the market in English local government

Eckersley, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-9048-8529 and Ferry, L., 2017. Accountable to whom? Data transparency, depoliticisation and the myth of the market in English local government. In: B. Cuadrado-Ballesteros and I.M. García-Sánchez, eds., Local governments in the digital era: looking for accountability. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 9781634858977

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Data transparency and structural reforms are changing the nature of accountability in public services across the developed world, and English local government is no exception. Various central government initiatives since 2010 have increased the number of mechanisms through which councils can be held accountable, in line with a promise to improve ‘downwards’ accountability to citizens. However, these mechanisms are unlikely to be any more robust than their predecessors in improving this relationship. Instead, the reforms have actually strengthened ‘upwards’ accountability to central government for financial management, and sought (albeit largely unsuccessfully) to make local public bodies more responsive ‘horizontally’ to potential competitors in the public services marketplace. Indeed, since they are likely to result in greater outsourcing and privatisation of public services, the reforms can be seen as part of a wider neoliberal agenda that is contributing to ‘depoliticisation’ and a situation where policy decisions are taken increasingly by non-state or apolitical actors, to the detriment of democracy and public accountability.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Eckersley, P. and Ferry, L.
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Place of Publication: Hauppauge, New York
Date: 2017
ISBN: 9781634858977
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 09 May 2018 12:26
Last Modified: 09 May 2018 12:26

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