Does Reinvention Need Reinvention? Lessons from Tmncated Managerialism in Britain



Since the 1970s, reformers have pressed innovation in Whitehall management. However, the reinvention efforts by both the Thatcher and Major governments under the banners of public choice and managerialism have led the reform movement to a dead end. Using interviews ranging from 1978 to 1993 and drawing upon the works of public management theorists, this article analyzes the obstacles to reinventing government in the UK. Namely, the politicization of the process coupled with HM Treasuy's stronghold on expenditures has limited managerial discretion and built mistrust of veforms among civil servants. Rather than creating an environment conducive to innovations in public management, the UKs efforts have deepened the divide between policymakers and administrators.