Leverhulme Project Outputs



March 2012: Explorations in Governance (pdf) A collection of papers in honour of Christopher Hood, edited by Ruth Dixon and Martin Lodge.

October 2012: Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon's paper 'A Model of Cost Cutting in Government: the Great Management Revolution in UK Central Government Reconsidered (open access) was published online in October 2012 and in print in March 2013 (Public Administration, 91(1) 114-134). We have written a 4-page summary, posts on RD's blog and on the LSE Politics and Policy blog, as well as an article in the online Guardian.

October 2012: An article about uncertainties and unintended consequences of university rankings by Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood, Ranking for Success: a No-brainer? Oxford Magazine, Noughth Week, Michaelmas Term 2012. RD's related blog post explores 'reactivity' towards rankings.

March 2013: A Lever for Improvement or a Magnet for Blame? Press and Political Responses to International Educational Rankings in Four EU Countries. New paper by Ruth Dixon, Christiane Arndt, Manuel Mullers, Jarmo Vakkuri, Kristiina Engblom-Pelkkala, and Christopher Hood published in Public Administration 2013 91(2) pp 484–505. Free preprint version here.

April 2015: Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon's new book, A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less? Evaluating Three Decades of Reform and Change in UK Central Government, was published by Oxford University Press in April 2015.Hood-and-Dixon---Email-Signature-Banner

Read Chapter 1 for free! (pdf)

Data and sources for the graphs in the book (link to datasets).

In November 2015, this book was awarded the US National Academy of Public Administration's prestigious Louis Brownlow Book Award for 2015.

For reviews of this book, see News page.

April 2015: Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon published a Commentary in Governance entitled 'What We Have to Show For 30 Years of New Public Management: Higher Costs, More Complaints'.

April 2015: Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood wrote a briefing paper on the quality of official data entitled ‘How Data Churn Destroys Evidence about Public Service Performance and What Can be Done about It’.

Selected Presentations

June 2016: Ruth Dixon spoke at the First Annual Conference of the PSA Political Methdodology Group at UCL on 'Mapping the Evolution of Legislation: A Bioinformatics Approach'. Her slides are here and her presentation is summarised in a blog-post on the LSE Politics and Policy Blog.

November 2015: Ruth Dixon gave a talk via Skype about A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less? to Prof Alex Murdock's Masters students in Berlin. Slides for her presentation.

June 2015: Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood presented their work on the quality of legislation to the Oxford Public Law Discussion Group.

May 2015: Ruth Dixon gave an invited talk at an international seminar on 'Accountability and Governance in Education and Elsewhere' organized by OSC-Sciences Po, Paris. The title of her talk was 'The Paradoxical Efficacy of International Educational Rankings as Policy Instruments.'

May 2015: Christopher Hood took part in a panel discussion organized by the Blavatnik School of Government. With Sir Michael Barber and Prof Gwyn Bevan, Christopher discussed Sir Michael's recent book 'How to Run a Government: So That Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy'.

April 2015: Seminar on the Quality of Official Data  'Official Data - Made to Break?' Tony Travers, Christopher Hood, and Ruth Dixon held a seminar at LSE on 17 April 2015 at which the briefing paper (pdf) by Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood was launched.

March 2015: Ruth Dixon gave a talk entitled 'Rating Rule of Law Performance: Consilient Assessment of the Framing and Application of Law'at the IRSPM Annual Conference in Birmingham.

January 2015: Christopher Hood presented at the Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management (DFO) Annual Conference on Cost Control and Innovation.

November 2014: Christopher Hood was lead speaker at the Annual Conference of the Portugese ESAP (Entidade de Servicos Partilhados da Administracao Publica, the Portuguese central agency for public service management), titled Inovar com Valor. The presentation was on different approaches to managing running costs in government, delivered to an audience of around 1200 policy practitioners, mostly from the Portuguese civil service

September 2014: Christopher Hood gave a keynote plenary lecture entitled 'Not What it Said on the Tin? Reflections on Three Decades of Public Management Reform’ at the EIASM International Public Sector Conference in Edinburgh.

June 2014: Christopher Hood gave his valedictory lecture on Monday 9 June in All Souls College, Oxford, entitled Thirty Years of Makeovers in UK Central Government – Did it Work Better and Cost Less?. Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon have written a blog post summarising the main themes of the lecture.

June 2014: Ruth Dixon gave a talk entitled "More Focused and Business-Like or Heading into Chaos? UK Legislative Process and Judicial Review over the Past Three Decades" to the Constitutional Studies Discussion Group on 3 June 2014 in the DPIR, Oxford.

June 2013: Christopher Hood presented a paper entitled "Do You Get What You Pay For? Evaluating Three Decades of Makeovers in UK Central Government" at the Panel on Civil Service Systems, Transatlantic Policy Consortium Conference, The Hague, 29 May to 1 June 2013. Three decades of government makeovers (graphic).

May 2013: Ruth Dixon spoke at the Politics Research Colloquium in the DPIR on "A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less? Evaluating UK Public Management Reforms Over the Past 30 years". Discussant Dennis Grube, Griffith University, QLD, Australia.

April 2013: Ruth Dixon presented a paper by Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood "Why is the Impact of NPM so Elusive and What Can We Learn From the UK Case?" in Panel 32 of the XVII Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management in Prague.

July 2012: Christopher Hood gave the keynote presentation at the PMA2012 Conference, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. His talk was entitled "Four Decades of Reform in Whitehall: Did They Create a Government that Works Better and Costs Less?"

May 2012: Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon presented a paper on running costs changes in the OII seminar series Doing More for Less in Times of Austerity?

May 2012: Ruth Dixon presented three talks at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Her talks were on (i) the politics of  target systems, (ii) the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, and (iii) UK government administration costs over the past 30 years.

Other Outputs

June 2015: 'The Evidence Paradox', an article by Ruth Dixon, Tony Travers and Christopher Hood on how goverment systematically destroys performance evidence, was published on the Politics In Spires blog.

June 2015: Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon's work on Judicial Review case numbers was featured in a Reuters Institute Report 'Making Research Useful: Current Challenges and Good Practices in Data Visualisation.'

May 2015: Ruth Dixon's post 'Numbers that matter: Party leader satisfaction ratings and election outcomes' was published on the Politics in Spires blog and the LSE GE2105 blog, and featured in the Nuffield College May 2015 compilation of British political publications.

December 2014: Ruth Dixon's post on the number of Judicial Review cases received by UK government departments was republished on LSE British Politics and Policy Blog, Democratic Audit, and The Justice Gap.

April 2014: Public Administration Select Committee reports on Complaints (pdf) and Ombudsmen published (the latter report includes written evidence by Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood).

May 2013: Reclassification Changes in PESA. An Excel spreadsheet showing how we calculated the running costs graphs in Hood and Dixon 2012.

April 2013: Ruth Dixon was invited to join an expert panel for a Guardian online live chat on the #goodlaw initiative of the Cabinet Office and the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel "What Does Good Law-Making Look Like?". News story here.

November 2012. Applications for Judicial Review. An Excel spreadsheet showing how applications for Judicial Review have changed since 1970. Graph featured on the Guardian Data Blog and UK Human Rights Blog 19 Nov 2012. See graph here: http://twitpic.com/bek726. The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 also referred to this dataset (without attribution!) on 15 Dec 2012 at 8:10 and 8:50 am.

July 2012: Blogpost on Politics In Spires by Ruth Dixon and Christopher Hood on finding out how much the civil service paybill costs. "Cutting the costs of bureaucracy: are we nearly there yet and how would we know?"