The Governance Narrative: Key Findings and Lessons from the Erc’s Whitehall Programme



This article provides a personal interpretation of the key findings of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Whitehall Programme. I tell the distinctive story of ‘governance’— of fragmentation, networks, unintended consequences and diplomacy — challenging the dominant, managerial account of change in British govern-ment since 1979. I present a view of the world in which networks rival markets and bureaucracy as ways of allocating resources and co-ordinating policy and its implementation.