Experiments with Joined-Up, Horizontal and Whole-of-Government in Anglophone Countries

John Angus Halligan, Fiona Buick, Janine O'Flynn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Second generation reform in Anglophone countries gave prominence to horizontal, cross-government, cross-boundary and inter-agency ques-tions. Having previously emphasized disaggregation and the diff usion of delegated and contractual responsibilities, in this new phase what was once broadly subsumed under coordination became mainstreamed under new terminology and emphases. The starting point, 'whole-of-government', is suffi ciently broad to encompass a range of themes contending for distinctiveness as expres-sions of a horizontal focus (Christensen and Laegreid 2007), even if the reality is one of overlapping and inconsistent concepts and practice. The fi eld is beset with diff erent terminologies and ambiguous use of them as well as fl uctuating fashions. For example, 'joined-up government' in the UK is often identifi ed with focusing on delivery agencies in dif-ferent sectors (public, private and third), but also with cross-boundary units and inter-departmental activity. Australia's 'whole-of-government' approach encompasses a range of activities and has, in practice, been used to describe broader strategic and systemic initiatives of government. 1 The notion of collaboration has been linked heavily to these horizontal developments; however, whether substantive collaboration – as opposed to cooperation, for example – has actually developed has been questioned (O'Flynn 2009). This chapter considers a range of horizontal experiments from the last decade drawing on the experience of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. 2 It examines factors that account for the emergence of this distinctive 'movement' in these countries and the several strands that have contended for distinctiveness. The issues with realizing and sustaining eff ective horizontal government are common across the four countries. The prospects are both somewhat discouraging,judgedby the mixed results of the experiments, and pro-pitious in that the horizontal government continues to move into the mainstream.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Handbook on Civil Service Systems
    Editors Andrew Massey
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
    ISBN (Print)9781847200532
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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