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Discourses of accountability: Policy scrutiny of an English regional development agency

Tim Blackman and Christianne Ormston

Regional Studies, 2005, vol. 39, issue 3, 375-386

Abstract: Blackman T. and Ormston C. (2005) Discourses of accountability: policy scrutiny of an English regional development agency, Regional Studies 39 , 375-386. England's regional development agencies (RDAs) are publicly funded economic development bodies accountable to both central government and representative regional chambers. The relationship of accountability to chambers has recently been strengthened by giving them responsibility for the formal scrutiny of RDAs' work. This paper examines how accountability was interpreted by key professional actors in the first set of scrutiny exercises in North East England. Contrasting repertoires of accountability were found to be in play, reflecting the different relationships of power of the two organizations. Although these shaped the extent to which different types of evidence were regarded as legitimate in judging the effectiveness of the RDA, a dominant and shared discourse of consensus was constructed by the two groups of officers, reflecting their concerns that regionally based decision-making continues to be given legitimacy by England's strong central state.

Keywords: Accountability; Scrutiny; Regional government; England; Responsabilite; Examen; Adminstration regionale; Angleterre; Verantwortlichkeit; Uberprufung; Regionalverwaltung; England; Responsabilidad; Escrutinio Gobierno regional; Inglaterra; JEL classifications: H77; O21; R11; R58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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DOI: 10.1080/00343400500087448

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