Governance, performance, and capacity stress The chronic case of prison crowding

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-07-29
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Public policy systems, much like humans, can operate under continual stress over long periods of time. Whereas analysis of these systems often tends to focus on the extremes of success or failure, the more complex reality is that more often than not they neither completely excel nor completely fail in what they do, but combine elements of both in the way they cope and perform under stress. This book explores these dynamics through the archetypal case of crowding in British prisons. Packed with data, it provides an original analysis of the prison system through an era of managerialist change. It contributes to contemporary debates on the management of prisons, and the wider fields of public management, governance, and executive politics. At its heart lies a new concept of "chronic capacity stress" (CCS), one which will be valuable to anyone  - academics, practitioners, students alike  - interested in how policy systems both succeed and fail in complex and ever-changing political, economic, and social environments.

Author Biography

Simon Bastow has been a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, UK since 2005. He is part of the LSE Public Policy Group, and has worked for more than ten years in applied academic research and teaching, publishing widely across UK and comparative public policy and governance.

Table of Contents

1. Traditional Explanations of Capacity Stress and Their Limitations
2. A More Holistic Governance-style Approach
3. Performance, Capacity, and Managerialism as a Basis for Legitimacy
4. Measuring and Setting Capacity Standards
5. Senior Ministers, and the Limits of Their Influence to Resolve the Capacity Problem
6. Top Officials, and the Interface between Political and Operational 
7. Governors, Staff, and Strategies of Local Adaptation
8. Privately Contracted Prisons – New Setting, Same Condition
9. Chronic Capacity Stress - a Complex Condition

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