Bureau shuffling? The review of public administration in Northern Ireland

Colin Knox, Paul Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998 resulted in the return of devolved government to Northern Ireland and, with it, a decision by the Executive and Assembly to conduct a radical review of public administration. The review is now reaching its final stages and this paper considers the likely outcomes. It both argues that the parameters of the review will limit its impact and describes the reform proposals as either structural changes or administrative rationalization, both devoid of a wider modernizing approach to improving public services. In Northern Ireland, the on/off nature of devolution could result in 'one of the major tasks for devolved government'(according to the Northern Ireland Executive) being implemented by Direct Rule ministers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-965
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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