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The decisive reset: attainable governance for revitalising democracy

Honeybone, Paul Robert; (2020) The decisive reset: attainable governance for revitalising democracy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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To improve democratic legitimacy, successful resolution of public policy challenges has to emerge from highly pressurised political predicaments. Increasing civic functionality requires integrative Civil Service practice, building trust in adaptive oversight. With the task of effective governance stretching out-of-reach in straining institutional arrangements, a proposition is developed for an “Attainable Governance” reset to revitalise democracy. Motivated by the need for progress that is sensitive to the reality and risks of the present and embodying requirements to hold open unforeseen possibilities for future action, the groundwork is laid for a new “decision architecture” that improves policy-framing and decision-making. With a mission to compose a conceptual framework for “facing the future” in the United Kingdom, I make the case for refreshing democratic arrangements, including a proposed structural intervention to the policy-making system with a correlative cultural step-change in leadership. Laying out a novel framework, the analysis draws widely on strands of thinking in social theory and political philosophy, public administration and policy-making, systems thinking and design, planning and strategic management, anticipation and futures, economics, and sociology. Taking an “integral” methodological orientation, in three parts I: (1) diagnose the converging Predicament, (2) develop a conceptual Proposition, and 3) sketch-out an approach to leadership that facilitates operational adaption in Procedures for applied practice. Positing that we have to deal with systems-of-problems (“messes”) and system-of-systems (“systemic messes”) with an analytic primacy on expanding temporal considerations to factor in more anticipative insights, I take a Complex Adaptive Systems-informed stance. The need for a “Decisive Reset” to refresh democracy, featuring phased systemic reordering and tactical modularity to produce better public decision-making that is responsive and agile in the short-run, while actively gauging medium-term realities and future-proofing for long-run uncertainties, results in a new decision architecture and methodology.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The decisive reset: attainable governance for revitalising democracy
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Governance, Public Policy, Democracy, Civil Service, Decision-making, Strategy, Temporality, Policy-making Methodology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102953
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