Devolved governance systems

Winchester, Nik and Storey, John (2008). Devolved governance systems. Open University.



This article assesses the extent, nature and outcomes of the recently devolved health service governance in the four countries which comprise the United Kingdom. This four-part configuration can be seen as a natural experiment in comparative governance which could therefore carry important lessons not only for the UK but in other countries too. While remaining under the aegis of the National Health Service, each constituent devolved administration has a developed a substantially different governance system. These systems reflect fundamental issues and priorities concerning the decentring of authority, the production and deployment of authority, the suite of incentives required and the preferred role of quasi-market mechanisms. The paper makes an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each governance regime.

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