Holistic Governance

AuthorAndrew Dunsire
Date01 March 1990
DOI10.1177/095207679000500102
Publication Date01 March 1990
SubjectArticles
4
HOLISTIC
GOVERNANCE
Professor
Andrew
Dunsire,
University
of
York
I
am
deeply
honoured
to
have been
asked
to
give
the
Tenth
Frank
Stacey
Memorial
Address.
When
I
look
down
the
list
of
my
distinguished
predecessors
I
see
that
none
of
them
were
serving
PAC
representatives
at
the
time.
It
is
a
signal
honour
you
do
me.
I
am
grateful
too,
for the
opportunity
of
publicly
remembering
Frank
Stacey,
and
that
sad
day
in
October
1977
when
he
died,
so
suddenly,
while
getting
out
of
his
car
in
a car
park
in
Nottingham,
with
completed
drafts
of
letters
on
PAC
business
in
his
briefcase.
As
the
years
have
gone
by,
there
are
probably
fewer
and
fewer
people
at
the
conference
who
were
members
of
the
PAC
at
that
time.
Those
who
were
will recall
that
I
myself
was
Chair
of
the
JUC
then;
we
had
worked
together
as
officers
of
the
PAC
for
a
number
of
years.
He
was
a
good
friend
and
we
still
miss
him.
But
I’m
not
going
to
strive
too
hard
tonight
to
follow
the
pleasant
tradition
of
most
of
the
earlier
Memorial
Lecturers
in
speaking
on
a
theme
within
Frank
Stacey’s
professional
interests
in
administrative
law
and
British
Government,
though
I
hope
it
will
not
be
entirely
unconnected.
I
am
going
to
be
rather
speculative,
perhaps
even
slightly
elevated
(in
that
sense
in
which
the
word
is
almost
a
synonym
for
’tired
and
emotional’),
and
speak
on
themes
that
have
been
turning
themselves
over
in
my
own
mind
in
the
last
decade
or
so.
Since
I
am
on
the
very
eve
of
my
retirement
from
my
university
post,
this
can
perhaps
be
my
Terminal.
(We
invite
new
Professors
to
give
an
Inaugural,
when
they
describe
for
the
benefit
of
their
non-specialist
peers
what
they
will
profess,
but
we
never
ask
them
to
give
a
Terminal,
when
they
might
reveal
how
much
or
how
little
their
thought
has
progressed
in
the
interval.)
So
I
am
grateful
to
the
PAC
for
that
chance
also.
I
am
going
to
talk
about
control
theory
and
Thatcherism.
The
first
section
of
my
address
introduces
the
relationship
between
implementation
and
control;
the
second
explains
the
concept
of
collibration;
and
the
third
explores
the
current
’paradigm
shift’
in
Public
Administration.
I
am
greatly
indebted
to
Christopher
Hood
for
many
of
the
ideas
in
this
paper,
and
to
Roderick
Rhodes
for his
encouragement
and
valuable
comments
on
an
earlier
draft.
5
The
theme
of
the
conference
is
’Policy
Implementation’.
Now
I
have been
guilty
myself
of
writing
quite
a
lot
on
that
theme,
but
I
have
come
to
wonder
whether
we
do
not
have
too
much
of
it
in
government:
not
so
much
too
much
policy,
as
too
much
implementation.
One
of
the
things
I
want
to
do
tonight
is
to
explore
how
we
can
be
more
sparing
with
implementation,
and
economical
with
enforcement
(cf.
Hood’s
’using
bureaucracy
sparingly’
(1983)).
You
may
be
suspecting
that
Mrs.
Thatcher
has
won
another
convert,
that
Dunsire
has
joined
the
New
Right.
What
I
have
to
confess,
amidst
much
soul-
searching,
is
that
my
reading
in
the
Cybernetic
Scriptures
convinces
me
that
Mrs.
Thatcher
and
the
public
choice
theorists,
in
their
Hayekian
Way,
have
stumbled
on
part
of
the
Truth,
though
they
don’t
fully
appreciate
where
the
Light
is
coming
from.
There
is
perhaps
an
assumption
implicit
in
our
teaching
of
policy
analysis,
because
implicit
in
the
democratic
process
as
we
have
evolved
it,
that
government
acts
by
making
and
implementing
policies
for
change.
You
have
more
and
more
policy
initiatives
because
that
is
how
politicians
get
their
rewards,
just
as
you
have
more
and
more
powerful
drugs
or
scanners
because
you
have
medical
researchers,
bigger
and
better
missiles
because
you
have
a
military-industrial
complex.
Politicians
show
what
they
are
made
of
by
having
new
laws
in
their
knapsacks.
The
urge
to
seize
the
reins,
to
take
charge,
and
use
legislative
power
to
change
things
to
how
you
want
them,
is
strong.
This
corresponds
to
the
first
of
three
modes
of
control
in
cybernetic
theory,
which
we
can
name
steering
or
regulating:
setting
a
datum
or
norm,
and
then
using
power
to
correct
deviations
from
it.
But
that
mode
is
implementation-intensive
and
enforcement-expensive.
There
is
no
need
to
remind
this
audience
that
implementing
a
policy
is
difficult.
The
burden
of
all
the
policy
implementation
and
evaluation
studies
that
ever
were
is
that
the
disturbing
factors,
whether
within
the
bureaucracy
or
between
output
and
outcome,
are
commonly
so
many
and
so
strong
as
to
render
nugatory
the
assumptions
of
policy-makers
about
what
is
being
achieved -
or
even
what
it
would
be
reasonable
to
expect
to
achieve.
Apart
from
that,
some
critics
say
implementation
is
harmful.
The
dysfunctions
of
’bureaucracy’
are
age-old
and
legion.
Just
as
there
is
such
a
thing
as
an
iatrogenic
disease
(doctor-spread
illness:
patients
in
hospitals
contract
diseases
they
did
not
go
in
with),
so
there
is
such
a
thing
as
nomogenic
disorder
(making
regulations
simply
induces
a
search
for
ways
around
them,
creating
the
need
for
more
regulations
to
stop
up
the
loopholes);
and
forofacient
crime
(courts
spread
wrongdoing,
by
sentencing
policies
that
fill
prisons
to
overflowing,
producing
riots
and
creating
’crime
schools’
for
young
minor
offenders).
Wildavsky
has
a
chapter
on
’Policy
as
its
own
cause’
(1979,
62-85),
and
another
on
’Doing
better
and
feeling
worse’
(1979,
284-308).
Perhaps
the
most
celebrated
such
critic
is
Ivan
Illich
(1977),
who
pointed
out
not
only
that
doctors
make
you
ill
and
schools
diseducate
you,
but
(echoing
Shaw)
that
all
professions
are
conspiracies
against
the
laity.
A
whole
industry
of
thought
provides
remedies.
’Leave
it
to
the
market’
is
currently
the
most
prominent.
Another
school
blames
’top/down’
implementation,
as
not
only
illusory
but
undesirable
in
principle;
’bottom/up’

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