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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Re-imagining Government

Public Leadership and Management in Challenging Times

ISBN 9780230364288
Publication Date June 2011
Formats Ebook Paperback Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

In an age of austerity, public leaders and managers face a range of external challenges - fiscal, social and political. Combining theoretical insight, empirical commentary and practical experience, this book examines how democratic political systems work and how public decisions are made - and how they could be made better.

BARRY QUIRK is one of the UK's most successful public managers, as well as being a public policy and management academic. He is a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, and an Associate at the Independent Institute for Government. He has worked in UK local government for over 30 years, more than half of them as a chief executive.

If Men Were Angels: Why We Need to Re-Imagine and Renew Government
Jumping to Conclusions: Public Interest, Public Value, Public Reason
Finding Common Cause: Cooperation, Community and the Commons
Deciding in a Democracy: Revealing Public Preferences and Balancing Biases 
The Geography of Governing: the Plurality of People, the Uniqueness of Places
Results-Driven Government: Leading and Managing for Public Purpose
Risky Business: Dealing with Dangers, Hazards and Harms
The Crunch and the Big Squeeze: From Private Recession to Public Retrenchment
Better, Quicker, Cheaper: How to Reduce the Cost of Government


Quirk has taken issues that I have been struggling with for years and given answers in clear, simple, compelling prose. Particularly impressive is the way he integrates discussion of politics, policy-making, and management as inseparable parts of good government. I couldn't recommend the book more highly: I only wish I had written it myself!' - Mark H. Moore, Kennedy School of Government, Graduate School of Education, and Business School, Harvard University
'Compelling and insightful, a must-read for everyone dedicated to improving public sector governance in a world increasingly driven by complexity, change and crisis. It epitomizes the huge contribution a truly reflective practitioner can make by combining insider knowledge of how management and leadership REALLY work with a solid command of classic and cutting edge research.' - Paul 't Hart, Utrecht University, Netherlands and Australian National University
'A powerful and readable mixture of theoretical insight, empirical commentary and practical experience which genuinely illuminates how public decisions are made and could be made better. It makes a fantastic contribution to our understanding of public management and leadership but also gets to the heart of how politics works.' - Gerry Stoker, University of Southampton
'Deserves to be widely read. Well-written, erudite and to the point, this book by a seasoned public service leader combines an eye for the big picture and the telling example with the insight to understand change.' - Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta and former head of the UK government's strategy unit
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