The Politics of Public Services: A Service Characteristics Approach

Politics is widely regarded as affecting and being affected by the performance of public services, yet little research differentiates between services in exploring these effects. This article in World Development addresses this gap by proposing a framework for understanding and comparing the politics of different services.

It identifies how the nature of the good, type of market failure, tasks involved in delivery, and demand for a service – hitherto regarded largely as economic and managerial concerns – affect political commitment, organisational control, and user power. Policy responses can be targeted to address service characteristics where they present opportunitiesfor, or constraints to, better services.

The article in World Development is co-authored by DLP researcher Claire Mcloughlin.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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News

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Tuesday 14th March 2017

DLP Research Fellow Niheer Dasandi has co-authored a new article on how bureaucrats and politicians interact, and how this affects reform efforts. It appears in 'Public Administration and Development'.

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Power and systems, and their role in developmental change: Guest seminar with Duncan Green

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Seeing power and complex social systems clearly is the first step towards supporting positive developmental change, says Oxfam Strategic Director and DLP research partner Duncan Green. He discussed the themes of his latest book at a recent International Development Department guest seminar at the University of Birmingham.

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