Corcoran, MS (2021) Finding the Eye of the Octopus: The limits of regulating outsourced probation services in England and Wales. Revue Française de Civilisation Brittanique/French Journal of British Studies. ISSN 0248-9015

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This article discusses the constraints on, and conflicts over, the oversight and regulation of mixed public-private entities, using the part-privatisation of the probation service in England and Wales – a policy called Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) – as its case study. The article shows how TR embodied a policy and set of practices that effectively undermined both institutional and political forms of scrutiny. Actions informed by neoliberal political dogma effectively strained regulatory systems, and short circuited the most important dimension of accountability in a liberal democracy – accountability of ministers to parliament. Ironically, although TR was subject to extensive regulatory scrutiny, the article concludes that these mechanisms were controverted by ministerial disregard for rules, procedures or the advice of civil servants, demonstrating that regulatory structures struggle to trump willfully pursued but ill-advised policy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript will be available from
Uncontrolled Keywords: marketisation, probation, neoliberalism, political accountability, executive power
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2020 09:48
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 01:30

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