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Challenges to Democratic Legitimacy, Scrutiny, and Accountability in the UK National and Local State

PAQ, Vol. 31 No. 4, (2007)

This article suggests that at national and local levels, the British state is seemingly incapable of solving multi-faceted and intractable social, economic and environmental problems alone. It is argued that new national and local governance arrangements, based on new ideas, different ways of working, and approaches to problem solving have brought into a sharper focus on the issues of democratic legitimacy, scrutiny and accountability. All three complex and ambiguous concepts have long been a concern in public administration. This article draws from existing conceptual frameworks to show that traditional forms of legitimacy, scrutiny and accountability are now under threat. It examines the merits of the new forms, with some recommendations for the future.

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