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Comparing blunders in government

Jennings, Will, Lodge, Martin ORCID: 0000-0002-4273-6118 and Ryan, Matt (2018) Comparing blunders in government. European Journal of Political Research, 57 (1). 238 - 258. ISSN 0304-4130

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1475-6765.12230


Much attention has been paid to government ‘blunders’ and ‘policy disasters’. National political and administrative systems have been frequently blamed for being disproportionately prone to generating mishaps. However, little systematic evidence exists on the record of failures of policies and major public projects in other political systems. Based on a comparative perspective on blunders in government, this article suggests that constitutional features do not play a prominent role. In order to establish this finding, this article (a) develops theory-driven expectations as to the factors that are said to encourage blunders, (b) devises a systematic framework for the assessment of policy processes and outcomes, and (c) uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to identify sets of causal conditions associated with particular outcomes (i.e. blunders). The article applies this novel approach to a set of particular policy domains, finding that constitutional features are not a contributory factor to blunders in contrast to instrument choice, administrative capacity and hyper-excited politics

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 European Consortium for Political Research
Divisions: Government
Centre for Analysis of Risk & Regulation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
K Law > KD England and Wales
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 12:13
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 16:03

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