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The New Public Contracting: Regulation, Responsiveness, Relationality
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The New Public Contracting: Regulation, Responsiveness, Relationality (Hardback)

Usually despatched within 3 weeks.


This book charts the significant increase in Britain over the last 25 years in the deployment of contract as a regulatory mechanism across a broad spectrum of social relationships. Since Labour came to power in 1997 the trend has accelerated, the use of contract spreading beyond the sphere of economics into public administration and social policy. The 'new public contracting' is the term given this distinctive mode of governance, characterized by the delegation of

contractual powers and responsibilities to public agencies in regulatory frameworks preserving central government controls and powers of intervention.

In many cases the contracts are not legally enforceable, their power as regulatory instruments deriving from the hierarchical authority relations in which they are embedded. Examples of the new public contracting include the regulation of relationships between government departments through Public Service Agreements and Framework Documents; the regulation of relationships between individual citizens and the state through Youth Offender Contracts, Parenting Contracts, and Jobseekers Agreements;

the funding of public infrastructure projects through Public Private Partnerships; and the restructuring of key public service sectors such as health, social care and education through contracts in competitive quasi-markets, reflecting the Government's privatization agenda.

The book critically analyzes and evaluates such contractual arrangements with reference to theories of relational contract and responsive regulation. It argues that while in business and other private relations contract routinely enables the parties to regulate and adjust their on-going relationships to mutual benefit, this is often not the case in the new public contracting. In many instances crucial elements of trust, voluntariness, and reciprocity are shown to be lacking. This and other

weaknesses in regulatory design are likely to impede the attainment of the Government's policy objectives. The book demonstrates the problems of ineffectiveness and lack of legitimacy generally associated with this mode of regulation, and specifies institutional and other conditions that need to be

satisfied for the more responsive governance of these public service functions.

BusinessEconomicsHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPublic administrationLawLaws of Specific jurisdictionsCompany, commercial & competition lawContract lawLawLaws of Specific jurisdictionsConstitutional & administrative law Publisher: Oxford University Press Publication Date: 01/06/2006 ISBN-13: 9780199291274  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Peter Vincent-Jones (BA (Hons), Cambridge, 1973; MA, Sheffield, 1979; PhD, Sheffield, 1983) is Professor of Law at the University of Leeds. Over the past fifteen years he has developed particular expertise in the privatisation and contractualisation of public services in the UK. He has published extensively on contract, housing, and public management issues from a socio-legal perspective in a wide range of journals including the Modern Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law and Society, Public Law, Legal Studies, Civil Justice Quarterly, Local Government Studies, and Public Administration. This monograph is the product of work undertaken during a three-year ESRC Research Fellowship awarded in 2001 to study 'The New Public Contracting in Socio-Legal Perspective'.

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