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Description - Public Policy Disasters in Europe by Pat Gray

In recent years Europe has witnessed some spectacular failures in government policy, which have, in some cases, contributed to the downfall of governments. This book considers these failures in policy-making asking what is meant by policy 'disaster', the different forms that they can take, and why they have occurred. The study opens with an overview of the trends in the explanation of 'disastrous' policy and explores the problems that arise when policies are evaluated. These issues are then examined in nine contrasting cases drawn from both the European Union and its member states. These include: the devastating crisis in the Belgium political system following the exposure of a paedophile ring; the crisis in the Dutch fight against drugs; 'Mad Cows'; the 'Arms to Iraq' affair in the UK; monetary union between East and West Germany; the Swedish monetary crisis of 1992; and the EU's common fisheries policy and policies towards civil war in Yugoslavia. Drawing upon common strands from these cases, the concluding chapter argues that broader trends towards increasing social and technological complexity render policy failures more likely. It also shows how some 'successful' government policies can become 'failures' when exposed to the mass media and a less deferential public opinion. The book is an excellent study of how and why policies can go wrong and highlights the limits of what governments can achieve in Western Europe.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415170703
ISBN-10: 0415170702
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 25-Jun-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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